Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada: More Revelations

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Las Vegas, NVAs lawsuits continue to mount with respect to the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada and the Hepatitis C outbreak linked to the facility, new questions are surfacing as to just how much malpractice insurance Dr. Dipak Desai, the majority owner of the clinic, carried for the Center.

It has been reported that inquiries up to this point have revealed a mere $3 million in coverage which, averaged out over the 40,000 patients of the Center thought to be at risk for Hepatitis C, would amount to $75 per patient. True, it would be somewhat beyond the realm of possibility that all 40,000 patients with a link to the Center would sue for damages, especially those who test negative for the blood-borne virus. Still, there would be those so emotionally traumatized by the mere possibility that infection might have occurred, together with the estimated $275 cost of the test, that a lawsuit would be considered.

Hepatitis ShotOne might conclude, therefore, that those litigants first out of the gate would stand the best chance of realizing actual dollars at the end of the day, beyond any other assets the principles of the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada might have at their disposal, to liquidate for payment of debts, pending conviction.

The Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada was implicated earlier this year in a Hepatitis C outbreak. Workers at the Center were accused of re-using syringes, and single-dose vials of anesthesia, together with other practices capable of spreading infection from unhealthy patients, to healthy individuals. The two principals of the Center, one of whom is Dr. Dipak Desai, were fined and the business license for the Center revoked by the State of Nevada.

Some have suggested that corners were cut at the Center in an effort to reduce costs. Thus it would come as no surprise to those same critics that Dr. Desai carried a mere $3 million dollars worth of malpractice insurance on behalf of the Center—which might be sufficient, one would think, to cover damages sought by one, or a handful of patients. But not hundreds, or even thousands.

As the investigation continues into the alleged lapses in sound medical protocol and judgment, and other failings of the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, other curious issues are coming to light.

For example, it has been learned that the insurance company, which provided coverage for the Endoscopy Center, is doctor-owned. What's more, it has been reported that Desai served on the Board of Directors of the company that provided coverage for his facility. That smacks of a conflict.

One legal official close to the issue has said that it proves interesting that Desai is on both sides of the controversy. On one hand, the facility that he controls is at the center of a major health-related investigation. And yet, as a sitting Board member of the entity providing insurance to his Center, Desai could quite possibly have a say in who gets paid, within the context of any pending settlement.

The company, Nevada Mutual Insurance Co., was named in a class-action lawsuit filed in March. The allegation is that Desai, as a Board member, was effectively regulating himself, as well as other defendants, in the Endoscopy Center case.

As more details emerge from the investigation, it will be interesting to see what comes out in the wash—and whether these latest revelations will serve to deter, or motivate victims, or potential victims of the Endoscopy Center, to get in the queue for damages, whatever they may be…

Reader Comments

Posted by

I would like to know if this case is closed? I know the criminal case is closed,but what about the civil case, and since my husband and myself filed a class action suit I would like to know if we are entitled to any monetary settlement.

Posted by

I am a plaintiff in this case . I have not heard a word about the civil suit. I need to inform the attorneys as I have moved.

Posted by

I have a question, not a comment. My question is how can I get a copy of my medical record. I need the record to vertify my health issue with VA.

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