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Another lawless jackpot award over propofol in Nevada

We've previously discussed a series of lawless cases in Nevada against Teva Pharmaceuticals and Baxter Healthcare over the misuse of propofol by the Desert Shadow Endoscopy Center, whose ludicrously unsanitary practices caused dozens of cases of hepatitis C: May 19, 2010; May 24, 2010; ; June 17, 2010; March 4. The culpable doctor and entities are bankrupt, so lawyers have been going after the deep pocket, aided by judges that refuse to apply federal law barring such lawsuits or to permit the corporate defendants to defend themselves by letting juries know the real facts of the case. As we noted in November, procedural shenanigans have promoted the scheduling of a case involving a plaintiff-friendly judge making improper rulings while staying a related case in another courtroom where the judge is following the law.

Over the last week, a jury in the Sacks v. Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada LLC case found the pharmaceutical defendants liable again: $20 million in "compensatory" damages, and $162 million in punitive damages. A third jury awarded $14 million in compensatory damages to another plaintiff, and is considering punitives. None of the press or blog coverage adequately indicates how scandalous and abusive these verdicts are. [LVRJ; Reuters/Frankel; AP/WaPo; Pharmagossip; Pharmalot]

(I'll be at UNLV Law in February discussing the propofol litigation.)

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.