A Nevada jury ordered a Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd unit and two other healthcare companies to pay $162.5 million in punitive damages to a group of colonoscopy patients who claimed they contracted Hepatitis C from vials of the sedative Propofol, Bloomberg reported on Monday.
The patients accused Teva the world's largest maker of generic drugs, Baxter Healthcare Corp and McKesson Corp of selling Propofol in vials large enough to be reused by doctors.
Propofol is the same sedative that is at the center of the manslaughter trial of pop star Michael Jackson, who allegedly was administered the drug shortly before his death.
The jury ordered the Israeli-based Teva to pay $89.4 million in punitive damages, according to Bloomberg. Baxter was ordered to pay $55.2 million and McKesson, a drug wholesaler, was found liable for $17.9 million, Bloomberg reported.
Earlier today, the jury awarded a total of $20.1 million in compensatory damages to the colonoscopy patients.
We believe that the allegations against Teva are without merit and we plan to appeal this decision, a spokeswoman for Teva told Reuters in a statement.
Baxter and McKesson could not immediately be reached for comment.
(Reporting by Noeleen Walder; editing by Carol Bishopric)