Jury deliberations have begun in the 12-week trial of a Nevada HMO linked to the biggest hepatitis C outbreak in U.S. history.
Two people who contracted the virus sued Health Plan of Nevada, claiming it failed to protect its insured members.
In his closing arguments, attorney for the plaintiffs Robert Eglet showed a well-known image of three monkeys to the jury, attempting to persuade them Health Plan of Nevada failed to see, hear or speak about accusations Dr. Dipak Desai endangered endoscopy patients at his valley clinics.
"This all happened, why? Because the money people didn't tell the safety people what was going on. They didn't tell them, so they couldn't make an informed decision about this doctor," Eglet said.
The defense found the poster offensive. It was just one of the many ways Eglet tried to prove the HMO cared more about its pocketbook than safety.
"They were saving so much money and making so much money using this incompetent physician," Eglet said.
Attorneys for Health Plan of Nevada argued executives were clueless about Desai's bad practices and that they were not the only ones.
"Eight different regulatory bodies in the state of Nevada didn't find any issues immediately. Everyone in the community is sorry we didn't catch this sooner but the fact is when we were made aware of it, we acted quickly," Health Plan of Nevada spokesperson Tyler Mason said.
Mason thinks the civil trial is ultimately about greed.
"I think we are all looking forward to Dr. Desai's criminal procedures in a few weeks, and that's the appropriate venue for closure for this chapter," Mason said.
It took a few days for a jury to decide Teva Pharmaceuticals needed to pay up in the last civil trial surrounding the outbreak.
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