Friday, July 11, 2014 | 6:46 p.m.
Two prominent Las Vegas attorneys signed onto a class-action lawsuit to represent plaintiffs suing the state and software builder Xerox for negligence with the Nevada's health care exchange.
Artemus W. Ham and Robert T. Eglet joined the case last week and will join the lawsuit with the firm of Callister and Associates.
Attorney Matthew Callister first filed the lawsuit in May after Las Vegas resident Larry Basich said he paid for an insurance plan scheduled to start Jan. 1 but was uncovered when he had a heart attack and underwent triple bypass surgery in early January. The case now has 150 plaintiffs alleging they paid for insurance without receiving it.
The suit claims that Nevada and Xerox knew there would be payment problems with the Silver State Exchange's online software and accepted consumers’ money without warning them of the risks. Xerox told the Las Vegas Sun in June that it was “not at liberty” to disclose how many consumers paid premiums without receiving a plan. Exchange officials said they do not know the number.
Ham and Eglet’s law firm -- Eglet Wall Christiansen -- is known as a Las Vegas powerhouse. The firm is renown in Las Vegas for winning a $500 million verdict in a class-action case against United HealthCare Services subsidiaries Health Plan of Nevada and Sierra Health Services for failing to monitor a doctor responsible for a Hepatitis C outbreak that infected two hospital patients.
A statement issued by Callister’s office said it asked Ham and Eglet to sign on because the size of the case was too big for the firm to tackle alone. “We needed a local expert in class actions that could sift through the volumes of issues Xerox and the Silver State Exchange created,” according to the statement.
Xerox's Las Vegas law firm, Greenberg Traurig, could not be reached for comment.