Las Vegas Sun

January 21, 2018

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Court rejects doctor’s appeal


CARSON CITY -- The Nevada Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the appeal of Dr. Harriston L. Bass Jr., who had sued two Las Vegas physicians in a case involving the death of a patient in Las Vegas.

The court upheld the decision of District Judge Nancy M. Saitta, who had granted a pre-trial summary judgment in favor of Dr. Harrison Sheld and Dr. William Wixted.

In 1992 Bass treated William Tryon at Women's Hospital in Las Vegas. Tryon developed bowel trouble, and Bass sought to transfer him to University Medical Center for surgery. According to court records, David Brandsness, the UMC administrator at the time, refused to take the patient, saying that it was a case of "patient dumping" and that he wanted to teach Women's Hospital a lesson.

Women's Hospital then ordered Bass off the premises, and Tryon subsequently died.

Women's Hospital suspended the privileges of Bass. Sheld and Wixted participated in that decision.

Bass sued them for interference with his contract, tampering of evidence and defamation.

Saitta granted a pretrial judgment against Bass and ordered him to pay $13,246 to the doctors to cover their legal costs. Bass appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court.

The court, in rejecting the appeal, said Bass failed to identify any specific material fact to assist the court in reviewing the appeal.

In connection with the Tryon case and another case, the state Board of Medical Examiners put Bass on three years probation. Bass appealed that action and the Supreme Court in 2000 found the care that Bass had provided was below standards and he was guilty of "repeated malpractice" in Tyron's case.

The Nevada Supreme Court did say that Bass does not have to pay $1,500 in fees for medical experts who were scheduled to appear but were not called at the peer review hearing of Women's Hospital.

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