Jury Hears Closing Arguments in Hepatitis Civil Case - 8 News NOW

Jury Hears Closing Arguments in Hepatitis Civil Case

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Dr. Dipak Desai Dr. Dipak Desai

LAS VEGAS -- Attorneys have one last chance to convince the jury in a civil trial stemming from the Hepatitis C outbreak.

Two former patients of Dr. Dipak Desai who contracted Hepatitis C are suing Health Plan of Nevada. They say the health maintenance organization, or HMO, sent them to a doctor who put patients' lives at risk.

Health Plan of Nevada says it feels for the victims in this case, but the blame should go to Desai, who owned the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada.

But plaintiffs' attorney Robert Eglet says Health Plan of Nevada put profits over patients.

After five weeks of technical testimony, Eglet summed up his case against the HMO using visuals of three monkeys.

"See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil," he said.

Eglet represents two of Desai's former patients who went into the endoscopy center for colonoscopies and walked out with hepatitis.

"Defendants contracted with Desai, a bad doctor, a known bad doctor, for their own financial gain," Eglet said.

He added that Health Plan of Nevada went with Desai because he was a low-bid physician.

"All the way back in the early 1990s, they had quality of care issues with Dr. Desai," he said.

Eglet reminded the jury of an incident Desai's former colleague testified about.

"Desai performs procedures so fast, he flings feces on the ceiling with a scope," Eglet said.

Health Plan of Nevada has boxes of 70,000 pages of evidence that Judge Timothy Williams did not allow the jury to hear, telling the whole story.

"This is one rogue doctor," Health Plan of Nevada spokesman Tyler Mason said. "The material that's behind me -- that's entered, but the jury will not hear -- addresses all the procedures and protocols, all the regulatory agencies, all the hospitals in the valley that credentialed Dr. Desai, and it also outlines Dr. Desai's criminal behavior of hiding many of his practices that again were undetected by regulators and other health plans."

Health Plan of Nevada says Desai managed to fool a host of regulators who never caught his practices, and he managed to fool them, too.

This case could go to the jury Thursday.

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