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October 21, 2014

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Jurors chosen in first hepatitis C case to reach trial

Image

Steve Marcus

Henry Chanin, right, headmaster of the Meadows School, and lead attorney Robert Eglet wait for jury selection to begin for an endoscopy trial at the Regional Justice Center Monday, April 12, 2010. Chanin is suing Teva Parenteral Medicines alleging strict product liability and negligence, resulting in Henry Chanin contracting Hepatitis C from exposure to contaminated vials of Propofol. Other defendants previously included in the lawsuit have settled.

Jury selection endoscopy trial

Lead attorney Robert Eglet, left, speaks with Henry Chanin, headmaster of the Meadows School, and wife Lorraine as they wait for jury selection to begin for an endoscopy trial at the Regional Justice Center Monday, April 12, 2010. Chanin is suing Teva Parenteral Medicines alleging strict product liability and negligence, resulting in Henry Chanin contracting Hepatitis C from exposure to contaminated vials of Propofol. Other defendants previously included in the lawsuit have settled. Launch slideshow »

Sun Coverage

A jury has been seated in the first case linked to the outbreak of hepatitis C in Southern Nevada to go to trial.

Thousands of lawsuits were filed in the wake of the largest hepatitis C scare in U.S. history, with about 300 people claiming to have contracted the disease at one of the clinics linked to the outbreak.

One person who filed suit was Henry Chanin, who says he contracted hepatitis C from a contaminated vial of the anesthetic propofol during a routine procedure at the Desert Shadow Endoscopy Center, 4725 Burnham Ave.

Chanin and his wife, Lorraine, are suing drugmaker Teva Parenteral Medicines, Inc., and Baxter Healthcare Corporation, which manufactured and distributed the propofol used at the clinic.

Jury selection began Monday and a panel of eight jurors and four alternates was sworn in Thursday afternoon, a day earlier than expected. Opening arguments are scheduled for Monday, with testimony expected to begin Tuesday.

About 50,000 people were notified they needed to undergo testing for hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV after an investigation in 2008 by the Southern Nevada Health District.

Chanin’s attorneys claim the jumbo size of the bottles encouraged reuse and say warning labels on the vials were inadequate. The bottles contained five times the amount of the drug needed for routine procedures, the lawsuit says.

Portions of the Chanins’ lawsuit have been settled, including with the medical professionals who performed the procedure.

The trial is expected to last at least three weeks in the courtroom of District Court Judge Jessie Walsh, who is presiding over the case.

At least 500 potential jurors were screened by way of a jury questionnaire before reporting for jury duty; responses to the questionnaire narrowed the pool by about half.

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