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Justinian Lane

Nevada Must Repeal Dr. Desai’s Law

A lot of words have been used to describe Dr. Dipak Desai, whose greed may have exposed 40,000 Nevadans to Hepatitis and HIV.  Let me add another word to the list: brilliant.  Why brilliant?  Because Dr. Desai didn’t just use the profits he made from reusing medical instruments to buy an 8,700 square foot mansion at the Red Rock Country Club.  He also used those ill-gotten profits to buy a law that would protect him if any of the patients he harmed ever tried to sue him.  Dr. Desai was the single largest individual financial contributor to the 2004 revisions to the Nevada medical malpractice laws.  Among other things, the changes Desai paid for put limits upon the amount of money he’d ever have to pay patients he exposed to HIV or Hepatitis, and drastically shortened the amount of time his patients would have to sue him.

Using the money from patients you harmed to pass a law to protect you if those patients sue you – that’s brilliant.  It’s also disgusting. 

The Nevada Legislature now has the opportunity to repeal Dr. Desai’s Law by passing AB 495.  Desai’s law sets the maximum amount of noneconomic damages a patient can recover from him at $350,000, which is just about 10% of what he paid for his Red Rock Mansion.  AB 495 will let juries, and not Dr. Desai decide how much an injured patient deserves to recover from doctors who flagrantly disregard patient safety in order to turn a quick profit.  AB 495 also prevents doctors like Desai from playing “hide the ball” with patients’ medical records until the statute of limitations expires so those patients can’t sue.

I urge the Nevada Legislature to pass AB 495 and undo the damage Dr. Desai did to Nevada’s medical malpractice laws. 

I further urge all Nevadans to email the following Assemblymen and Assemblywomen to urge their support of AB 495:

Bernie Anderson, Chairman
banderson@asm.state.nv.us

Tick Segerblom, Vice Chair
tsegerblom@asm.state.nv.us

Marilyn Dondero Loop
mdonderoloop@asm.state.nv.us

William Horne
whorne@asm.state.nv.us

Ruben Kihuen
rkihuen@asm.state.nv.us

Mark Mandeno
mmanendo@asm.state.nv.us

Harry Mortenson
hmortenson@asm.state.nv.us

James Ohrenschall
johrenschall@asm.state.nv.us

Bonnie Parnell
bparnell@asm.state.nv.us

Barbara Buckley, Speaker
bbuckley@asm.state.nv.us

John Oceguera, Majority Leader (Assembly)
joceguera@asm.state.nv.us

Stephen Horsford, Majority Leader (Senate)
shorsford@sen.state.nv.us

Justinian Lane: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 12:18 PM, Apr 02, 2009 in Medical Malpractice
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Comments

Can the author prove that Dr. Desai bought the law?
Can the author prove that Desai was the largest contributor?

No, because both would simply not be true.

The Nevada Secretary of State posts contribution and expenditure reports, anyone can check and see that Desai contributed less than 1% of the money spent on the initiative and far less individually than most of the big trial lawyers in town spent to fight it.

Posted by: The Inconvenient Truth | April 2, 2009 4:34 PM

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Desai was the largest single individual contributor to the lobbying group that pushed for this law. From my brief perusal of the SOS reports, that's true. Sure, AIG matched his $25k donation, and a few other insurance & healthcare companies exceeded it, but no other individual outspent him. And we all know why he was pushing so hard to get his law passed, don't we?

How much money was spent to fight this bill is irrelevant. What is relevant is that Desai spent $25k to get a law passed that would protect him from being sued by the patients he abused. He got it. And now it's time to take it away from him and doctors like him who are willing to expose their patients to HIV and Hepatitis in order to make a buck.

Posted by: Justinian Lane | April 2, 2009 8:43 PM

Justinian: Don't do this in court. The other side would demand a mistrial, all legal costs, and sanctions.

The frickin' trauma center closed in one of America's most violent city. The lawyer protects the criminal. The criminal just blasts every body, all day, every day. Next, the trauma center cannot pay its insurance. It closes. So people are flown to other states spending their Golden Hour flying around the sky. Docs are leaving in droves.

The legislature gets the message, and passes the above reforms.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | April 3, 2009 7:17 PM

Here, Justinian. Your post is totally irresponsible. Your viewpoint is a threat to the lives of crime victims, tourists, and the acutely ill.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/13/us/deal-on-liability-allows-trauma-center-to-reopen.html?sec=&spon=&pagewanted=1

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | April 4, 2009 8:35 PM