Dr. Dipak Desai, linked to a hepatitis C outbreak in Las Vegas, had his medical license blocked by a judge's temporary restraining order issued Tuesday.
The order was requested by state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto pending the outcome of a Board of Medical Examiners 10-count complaint against Dr. Desai.
Dr. Desai had voluntarily surrendered his license following the hepatitis C outbreak at one of his clinics, the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, but that still allowed him to practice medicine outside of Nevada.
“Imminent and irreparable harm will result” if the order isn’t immediately issued, District Judge David Wall told the Las Vegas Review Journal.
The Las Vegas Sun is reporting today that Dr. Desai tried to ship two luxury vehicles to Dubai. The general manager of the car dealership told the paper that Desai brought a broker from Dubai to his dealership and tried to pay off two black Mercedes vehicles, valued at about $250,000, but the dealer denied the request.
There has been speculation that the native of India might flee the country. His wife, Dr. Kusum Desai, a pulmonary specialist, has quit her practice which was not linked to her husband's clinics.
Dr. Eladio Carrera, who was co-owner with Desai of another endoscopy center on Shadow Lane, is also facing a restraining order that prevents him from practicing medicine.
The doctors are accused of putting patients’ health in jeopardy, putting the medical profession in disrepute, putting financial gain above the patient and failing to use “reasonable care, skill or knowledge ordinarily used under similar circumstances.”
The complaint alleges that Doctors Desai and Carrera directly worked on three patients who were infected with hepatitis C.
The medical board, Las Vegas Police, FBI, State Attorney’s office and Clark County district attorney’s office are all investigating the Endoscopy Center and possible insurance fraud.
40,000 former patients are undergoing hepatitis C, B and HIV testing after it was revealed in February that eight patients have contracted hepatitis C from a contaminated re-used syringe at three centers owned by Dr. Desai.
Under Desai’s direction workers also allegedly reused needles and vials. There is no cure for hepatitis C, a blood borne disease that causes inflammation of the liver. It can lead to cirrhosis, cancer and death.
May 8th a Las Vegas court hearing will determine whether the temporary order should become a preliminary injunction against Dr. Desai. So far he has paid the city $500,000 in fines.
The first medical negligence lawsuit has been filed in District Court by a former patient of the Endoscopy Center. Charles Anthony Rader, 53, who along with his wife is being tested for hepatitis and HIV.
Rader’s case was among the first in a class action negligence lawsuit filed by White, Meany and Wetherall of Las Vegas, a member of Injuryboard. #