LAS VEGAS -- The hepatitis medical meltdown over the last few years led to trials, accusations and the largest jury award in the history of Nevada. But now part of the landmark case is going before the Nevada State Supreme Court.
The drug companies Teva Parenteral Medicines and Baxter Healthcare Corporation want to start over. The companies lost in court because they didn't have proper safety controls in place. Jurors found that the vials that got used over and over again at Dr. Dipak Desai's clinics were not labeled properly and had a poor design.
Now, the drug companies wants to overturn that $505 million dollar judgment. Drug company lawyer David Stark says the damages were simply too much.
"We disagree with many of the judge's rulings and we have appealed them and we're looking forward to having our day in court in front of the full bench of the Nevada Supreme Court," said David Stark, attorney for Parenteral Medicines. He says key evidence was barred during the trial.
"The fact that there was some intentionally wrong practices going on in the clinics. The fact that the product was approved by the Food and Drug Administration," he said.
Teva and Baxter were found at fault for faulty packaging and directions on the propofol. Stark says the jury should have focused more on the "sloppy practices" at the clinics.
"Basic, unsanitary conditions. Not washing properly or not sanitizing properly," Stark added.
Also in question are the financial connections between the trial's Judge Jessie Walsh and the law firm fighting the drug companies -- Mainor, Eglet, Cottle. Campaign records show in recent years, around $40,000 has been given to Walsh by lawyers from the firm. There are no direct allegations of wrongdoing just a possible appearance of impropriety.
Stark says his side was not even allowed to talk about the FDA during the trial.
"Our product is approved by the FDA and our label is approved by the FDA so we thought at a minimum, that was something that jury would need to know."
Stark simply wants to start over, allow every fact -- good or bad -- to come to light.
"We do think that now we have that information, that's a reasonable basis, to grant us a new trial.
The Nevada Supreme Court will take up the issue on Monday, March 7. No ruling is expected for some time. The law firm said said attorney Robert Eglet was traveling and not available to comment.
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