Jury Deliberating Las Vegas Hepatitis C Drug Firm Case

LAS VEGAS -- A Nevada jury is considering whether to award $25 million to five people in a lawsuit that blames drug companies and distributors for an anesthetic one plaintiff's lawyer called "jumbo vials of mass infection."

Clark County District Court jurors began deliberating Thursday, a day after attorneys for plaintiffs infected with hepatitis C delivered closing arguments in the seven-week trial.

Plaintiffs accuse Teva Parenteral Medicines Inc., Baxter Healthcare Corp. and McKesson Corp. of putting profits before patient safety.

Attorneys for the companies countered that the drug, propofol, was manufactured properly and delivered properly. They blame patient infections on misuse by clinic doctors and anesthesiologists.

The product defect trial is the second stemming from a 2008 hepatitis outbreak at Las Vegas colonoscopy clinics.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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