Court Victory Bittersweet for Hepatitis C Victim - 8 News NOW

Court Victory Bittersweet for Hepatitis C Victim

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LAS VEGAS -- The battle is far from over for Henry Chanin and his wife, Lorraine.

Even though the couple was awarded $505 million in the valley's first hepatitis C civil lawsuit, it could be years before they see a penny. They say the case was never about money.

Chanin is a man who likes to keep to himself so being part of a largely publicized trial was not easy for him. He is relieved it is over. For him, the case was never about lining his pockets, he wanted to make sure the drug companies changed their ways to prevent others from contracting a dangerous disease.

For the past four years, Chanin and his wife, Lorraine have lived a life of precaution.

"It was really frightening to come home unannounced one day and see her changing the sheets on our bed wearing gloves because I had a rash and I had been bleeding," Chanin said.

After contracting hepatitis C from the Desert Shadow Endoscopy Center in 2006, everything changed -- physically, mentally and emotionally.

"We had to give up intimacy for fear of transmitting the infection. I changed. I was depressed," he said.

He underwent chemotherapy and was fortunately able to suppress his illness. Though revenge against those responsible may be a logical reaction, Chanin says it wasn't the motivation for taking on the drug companies Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Baxter Healthcare Corp.

"The money is going to be used to change our community. This trial was about making sure what happened to me doesn't happen to anyone else."

Chanin says taking the stand against the corporations was something he felt he needed to do to pave the way for hundreds of other valley residents affected by the hepatitis C outbreak. His multi-million dollar win over the corporate giants was just the beginning.

He wants the drug companies to change their practices.

"We're not there yet. Justice hasn't been achieved. We've just taken one step and I think the good guys won round one and we'll see how it comes out."

And just like his fight with hepatitis C is never over, neither is his fight against the people who he says changed his life.

"Every six months I go get a blood test and I have a one in 20 chance of getting bad news.

The appeal process could mean Chanin won't see any money for years, if at all. He says if he does get the money, he will invest it into hepatitis C research. He will also put money into the Meadows School where he works and plans on working for 10 more years.

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