Desai Ruling Shouldn't Hurt Civil Cases - 8 News NOW

Desai Ruling Shouldn't Hurt Civil Cases

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LAS VEGAS -- Even though Dipak Desai will not have to go through a criminal trial any time soon, civil litigation against him and others involved in the hepatitis C outbreak will still go forward.

While it is frustrating for victims of the hepatitis C outbreak to hear that Desai will not be facing a judge next month for his criminal trial, there is some good news. Lawyers say the ruling has little to no effect on civil litigation, which means victims could still get paid damages.

Several years of investigating and maneuvering through the legal system has taken its toll on attorneys, investigators, and victims, who have endured years of health problems, worry and frustration.

"Desai has done everything he can to avoid or be held accountable or responsible to compensate these people and it's sad. It really is," said attorney Ed Bernstein. "We are actively pursuing litigation against the product manufacturers and that is advancing and we have trials scheduled against them over the next couple of years."

Robert Eglet is another attorney representing hundreds of victims. Last year, he won a half billion dollar lawsuit against two drug manufacturers accused in the hepatitis C case. Those cases will continue, as will the cases against other medical personnel involved.

"While Doctor Desai was the primary owner of these clinics, he was not the only surgeon performing these procedures where people got infected. He is just one of many," said Eglet.

As for cases directly involving Desai, Eglet says the doctor's insurance company has been settling with victims.

Even though it will take years before every victim gets their day in court, attorneys say they will continue pushing forward.

There are several civil trials set for this year, but again, it's going to be a long process. The civil lawsuit verdict that ruled in favor of one victim last year is still stuck in the appeals process.

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