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The first civil trial stemming from Southern Nevada’s hepatitis C outbreak began Monday, a little over two years after public health officials first revealed the string of infections related to a Las Vegas endoscopy clinic.

Henry Chanin, 61, and his wife, Lorraine, are suing Teva Parenteral Medicines Inc. and Baxter Healthcare Corp., the maker and distributor of propofol, the anesthetic linked to the outbreak at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada and its sister clinic, the Desert Shadow Endoscopy Center.

Henry Chanin was infected with hepatitis C during a June 2006 colonoscopy at the Desert Shadow Endoscopy Center.

Public health investigators blamed the outbreak on nurse anesthetists who reused single-dose vials of propofol between patients at the clinics. The doctor and nurses who performed Henry Chanin’s procedure settled their cases just before trial.

Chanin’s lawsuit includes a number of product liability claims based on the drug companies making and selling the clinics 50-milliliter vials of propofol, which is five times the amount needed for a typical colonoscopy or endoscopy. The larger vials induced medical workers to reuse the vials between patients instead of throwing out the unused anesthetic, Chanin’s lawyers say.

Monday

mom relives ax attack

With her husband at her side, Sandra Castro recalled the ax attack that left her disfigured and her 4-month-old son dead.

Her tearful testimony came on the first day of a preliminary hearing for Harold Montague, who later in the week was bound over for trial on murder and other charges in the Feb. 11 attack.

Tuesday

tables turn on lawyer

A lawyer who urged the State Bar of Nevada to investigate possible ethics violations in Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto’s handling of a lawsuit to block a federal health reform law got his wish — except he’s the one being investigated.

The state Bar said it is investigating a claim accusing Las Vegas lawyer Jacob Hafter of violating multiple rules of professional conduct with his criticism of Masto.

Wednesday

Yucca halt halted

The Department of Energy stopped the dismantling of the Yucca Mountain project, offering a 21-day timeout so federal judges can weigh the latest legal challenges to the planned scrapping of the nuclear waste project.

The freeze until May 5 appears to halt the termination of the department’s contract with USA Repository Services, the project’s main operating company.

Thursday

tea party picks angle

The national Tea Party group shook up Nevada’s U.S. Senate race by backing Republican Sharron Angle, a former state legislator and deep-rooted conservative from Northern Nevada.

Tea Party Express organizers introduced Angle as the group’s choice in Nevada to carry the banner of small government in the race to unseat Democratic Sen. Harry Reid.

Friday

home invaders caught

Las Vegas police linked several suspects to a home invasion spree where the intruders sneaked through unlocked doors and windows, held residents at gunpoint, and robbed them.

Police arrested two of the men early Thursday after catching them breaking into an apartment. A third was arrested later that morning.

Investigators believe the group could be responsible for a series of home invasions that began in January.

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