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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”



Attorneys want hepatitis trial moved

LINCOLN - A judge was asked Tuesday to relocate the trial involving
one of scores of lawsuits stemming from a massive hepatitis outbreak.

Attorneys for Dr. Tahir Javed and nurse Linda Prochaska, citing
publicity in the case, requested a change of venue for a civil
malpractice lawsuit filed against them by the family of Cheryl

She died in March of liver complications after allegedly contracting
hepatitis C at Javed's former clinic in Fremont.

Dodge County District Judge John Samson did not indicate when he
would rule on the request.


Javed is accused of using unsanitary practices that caused 99 people
to contract the disease between March 2000 and December 2001.

The Fremont outbreak was the largest of its kind in the nation, and
perhaps the world, according to the federal Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.

At least 81 lawsuits have been filed against Javed.

Javed left the country for his native Pakistan around the time when
the first hepatitis cases were detected.

The state has since revoked Javed's medical license.

In a settlement reached with the state, Javed admitted to using
unsanitary practices at his clinic.

Hepatitis C is a viral infection of the liver and the most common
bloodborne infection in the nation. The virus causes no symptoms in
most cases and the majority of carriers do not know they are

The virus affects the liver and eventually can lead to cirrhosis or
liver cancer.

It can take as long as 20 years for hepatitis C to cause liver
failure, and those infected rarely show symptoms.

The outbreak involves genotype 3A, a strain that accounts for fewer
than 10 percent of all U.S. viral hepatitis C cases.

The Javed lawsuits are threatening to wipe out Nebraska's
malpractice fund.

Nebraska's Excess Liability Fund was established in 1976 and is used
to pay claims in excess of a doctor's individual private malpractice
insurance. Participating doctors pay annually into the fund, which
is meant to defray the costs of malpractice insurance.


About 3,100 doctors pay into the fund.

The fund now has $55 million, but is expected to pay out an
estimated $46 million to settle pending claims - not including any
of those filed against Javed.

Tim Wagner, head of the state Department of Insurance, has said that
if the Javed case exhausts the fund, the doctors would be required
to pay the remaining claims - which potentially could equal tens of
millions of dollars.

The outcome could be worse if Nebraska did not have a cap on medical
malpractice claims. The Legislature passed a bill last session
increasing the damage cap from $1.25 million to $1.75 million.