Product News and Recalls

Lawsuits filed against New England Compounding Center for tainted steroid

A story on Patch.com says that a number of lawsuits have been filed against the Massachusetts pharmacy linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak.

The New England Compounding Center is the specialty pharmacy that produced a shipment of steroid commonly injected to relieve back pain, which was found to be tainted with a fungus.

Figures from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Oct. 18 put the number of infected patients at 247 in 15 states, including 19 deaths. But CDC officials say as many as 14,000 people may have received the medication.

Barbe Puro was the first to file a lawsuit against NECC, on behalf of Minnesota patients who contracted meningitis as a result of the injections. Puro’s lawyers also seek class-action status to represent others affected by the contaminated steroids.

A federal lawsuit against the NECC was filed on behalf of Brenda Bansale of Michigan, who was diagnosed with fungal meningitis after being injected with the contaminated steroid. Lawyers in that case are seeking permission to consolidate all of the complaints against NECC into multi-district litigation.

Channel 13 News out of Florida reports that a 62-year-old woman from Marion County, Fla., has filed suit in Fifth Circuit Court.

Vlinda York, 62, went to the Marion Pain Management Center for two steroid injections in August, because she was suffering back pain from a car accident earlier this year. Then on Sept. 27, just days before the nationwide meningitis outbreak was confirmed, she spent more than a week in intensive care and is now being cared for by four doctors.

The report quotes York’s lawyer as saying: “She can’t eat, she says everything she eats she throws up, she’s on pain medication, she’s lost weight, she’s very weak.”

Two New Jersey residents have also filed suit against NECC. Although neither Jennifer Marko nor Brian Pennington yet have a confirmed case of meningitis, both have suffered symptoms consistent with meningitis after receiving the injections.

Tennessee resident Colette Rybinski’s husband, Thomas, was the first outbreak victim and died on Sept. 29. She’s asking for $15 million in damages.

And Tennesseeans Robert and Janet Russell of Tennessee are seeking $15 million for Mrs. Russell’s stroke, disfigurement, and permanent disability.

In addition, two Virginia residents have filed suit after being sickened by the tainted medication. Mary Radford, 71, is seeking $10 million; and Basil Proffitt, 80, of Salem is seeking $5 million.

Lopez McHugh is investigating cases related to this outbreak. If you or a loved one had an injection and were diagnosed with meningitis, you should consult with a Lopez McHugh lawyer for a free consultation.

See the Patch.com story here:

http://framingham.patch.com/articles/minnesota-woman-filed-first-lawsuit-against-framingham-phramacy

See the Channel 13 story here:

http://www.cfnews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2012/10/16/_2_new_fungal_mening.html