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April 13, 2010 - Jury Selection Begins in Hepatitis C Trial

Jury selection has begun in Las Vegas in the first suit involving a huge hepatitis C scare in southern Nevada.

The suit by Henry Chanin, headmaster and upper school director at the Meadows School in Las Vegas, is the first of thousands to go before a jury, the Las Vegas Sun reported. The Chanin suit will decide whether drugmakers should be held accountable after Chanin allegedly got hepatitis C from a contaminated vial of propofol, an anesthetic, during a routine procedure at the Desert Shadow Endoscopy Center in Las Vegas.

The Sun said the suits were filed after the largest hepatitis C scare in U.S. history. About 300 people claimed to have gotten the disease at one of the clinics linked to the outbreak, the newspaper said, but many of the suits have been settled.

Chanin, who has settled portions of his suit with the nurse and doctor who performed the procedure as well as other defendants, and his wife Lorraine are suing Teva Parenteral Medicines Inc., which manufactured the drug, and Baxter Healthcare Corp., which distributed the propofol used at the clinic, the Sun said..

The newspaper said about 50,000 people were told they needed to undergo testing for hepatitis C and B, and for HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus, after an investigation by the Southern Nevada Health District in 2008.

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