NEW YORK (AP) — Drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. plans to appeal a $356 million Las Vegas district court verdict awarded to a plaintiff who says he contracted hepatitis C when one of Teva's drug vials was used by more than one patient.
A jury in Las Vegas ordered Teva and Baxter Healthcare Corp. to pay a combined $500 million in punitive damages in the first of nearly 250 civil cases stemming from a hepatitis C outbreak related to its drug propofol two years ago.
"Teva believes that the evidence clearly showed that if the plaintiff contracted hepatitis as alleged, it was because a properly labeled product was blatantly misused at the clinic in question," Teva said in a statement. "Teva believes that there are numerous grounds for appeal, and plans to contest the verdict vigorously."
Baxter also plans to appeal the decision.
The drug manufacturer and distributor provided the propofol used by endoscopy clinics at the heart of the hepatitis C outbreak. At least nine — and possibly as many as 114 — patients were infected with the disease.
The Southern Nevada Health District advised about 50,000 patients who received endoscopy procedures at the clinics to get tested. The 2008 notification prompted widespread fear of infection and led to the lawsuits.