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Plaintiffs wanted to send message in Hepatitis C ruling

Reported by: Christine Kim
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Updated: 4/10/2013 6:45 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- A jury awarded the three plaintiffs in the Hepatitis C trial $500 million in punitive damages Tuesday, on top of the $24 million in compensatory damages awarded last week.

As the legal term implies, the award was meant as punishment for the state's biggest Hmo.

The case tracks back to 2008 when cases of Hepititus C infection were traced to a local endoscopy clinic.

The jury found Health Plan of Nevada liable for sending patients to that clinic.

For Health Plan of Nevada, it plans to appeal the entire case. The plaintiffs say they believe the verdict sends a clear message to the insurance industry across the nation.

The plaintiffs in the case -- Bonnie Brunson and her husband, along with 76-year-old Helen Beyer -- are happy with the outcome.

But they say it's not about the money; instead about the message.

Health Plan of Nevada says it will appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court, pointing to Dr. Depak Desai, the owner of The Endoscopy Clinic traced to the outbreak.
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