Trial set for doctor in Vegas hepatitis C outbreak - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Trial set for doctor in Vegas hepatitis C outbreak

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Dipak Desai, in his 2010 booking photo (LVMPD) Dipak Desai, in his 2010 booking photo (LVMPD)

The criminal trial of a Las Vegas physician at the center of the biggest hepatitis C outbreak in U.S. history will finally go to trial beginning next week.

Judge Valerie Adair set an April 22 trial date for Dipak Desai, the doctor accused of practices that exposed patients at his Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada clinics.

Adair determined Tuesday during a preliminary hearing Desai's health, which included reported small strokes earlier this year, would not hinder the doctor's ability to stand trial.

Desai's mental competency was also an issue leading up to a criminal trial proceeding, but a Clark County District Court judge determined last year he was fit to face the 28 criminal counts against him.

Desai was connected to an outbreak that infected more than 100 patients in 2007 and 2008.

Two nurses, Ronald Lakeman and Keith Mathahs, were also indicted in connection to the outbreak that also was linked to a patient's death.

The three defendants face felony murder, neglect, racketeering and insurance fraud.

Earlier this month, a jury found Health Plan of Nevada liable in a civil trial connected to the outbreak. A Las Vegas jury awarded the plaintiffs in the case $500 million in punitive damages and $24 million in compensatory damages.

Stay tuned to FOX5 for the latest on this developing story.

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