Dr. Eladio Carrera, a co-owner of the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, received two years probation, a $15,000 fine and a public reprimand today from the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners for his role in a hepatitis outbreak that infected some patients at his clinic and resulted in public health officials advising tens of thousands of other patients to be checked for exposure to hepatitis and HIV.
The settlement agreement, unanimously approved by the board, was largely worked out by the board's counsel, Lyn Beggs, and Carrera's attorney, David Mortensen.
Carrera has agreed to testify in other malpractice cases against the clinic's principal owner, Dr. Dipak Desai, and Dr. Clifford Carol, a physician who worked there.
"His testimony is vital to show what went on," said Louis Ling, executive director of the board.
Carrera, who asked for the special meeting of the board because of financial hardship, didn't show up for the meeting.
Mortensen said Carrera, whose license was temporarily suspended earlier, is on a medical mission to Uruguay.
In May 2008, Clark County District Judge James Bixler had blocked Carrera from practicing medicine, issuing a temporary restraining order pending resolution of a board complaint against him.
The judge's order followed an earlier order against Desai. The orders were requested by state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto.
In both cases, the judges said the temporary orders were warranted because the Board of Medical Examiners "has demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits" of its cases against the doctors, and "imminent and irreparable harm will result" if the orders weren't issued.
Louis Ling, executive director of the board, said he understood that some Nevadans might feel Carrera escaped serious punishment.
Contact reporter Paul Harasim at email@example.com or 702-387-2908.