Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Leads to Massive Litigation

Reports indicate lawsuits against the Massachusetts pharmacy responsible for the tainted steroid injections have started rolling in, as those injured by the dangerous drugs seek to recover some of what they’ve lost. The sad fact is they may have to wait years to collect their money as dozens of other people now line up to sue the New England Compounding Center.

So far at least 50 suits have been filed in federal court against NECC and more are being filed in state courts every day. Estimates peg the number injured from the shots at around 500, this includes the nearly 370 sickened with fungal meningitis. Beyond just injuries, 37 people have died due to the tainted injections.

The lawsuits share a common theme and that is alleging that NECC negligently produced a dangerous and defective product and thus owes money for injuries and deaths caused as a result. Attorneys for the victims have asked that a single judge be appointed to preside over the early stages of the process, an attempt to expedite the arduous process. This is known as multidistrict litigation and is meant to avoid inconsistent results during the initial phase of litigation. However, unlike a class-action suit, the cases would eventually be sent back to judges in the home jurisdiction.

One problem for attorneys is that NECC is a small private company that has now recalled all its products and laid off its workers. It’s also unclear whether NECC has adequate liability insurance. Given the worry about NECC’s ability to compensate the injured victims, attorneys are looking to others for the compensation their clients deserve. Among the additional defendants named in lawsuits are NECC pharmacist and co-founder Barry Cadden; co-founder Greg Conigliaro; sister company Ameridose and its marketing and support arm, Medical Sales Management.

If history is any judge, the law will be on the plaintiffs’ side. Ten years ago, seven fungal meningitis illnesses and deaths were traced to injections from a South Carolina compounding pharmacy. The two companies that insured the South Carolina pharmacy tried unsuccessfully to deny payouts, having been stopped by an appellate court.

If you or someone you know have been injured by a defective product and you would like to discuss your case with an attorney, please call contact the Georgia product liability litigation attorneys at Pope McGlamry P.C. today to schedule a free consultation.

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