Product News and Recalls

Lawyers for meningitis pharmacy trying to consolidate cases

Lawyers representing the New England Compounding Center, a specialty pharmacy blamed in a deadly meningitis outbreak, are trying to consolidate a number of lawsuits filed against their client.

A report in the Courier Journal out of Kentucky says 37 cases originally filed in state and county courts have been transferred to federal courts across the country at the request of NECC’s lawyers, who are requesting that a Boston-based judge preside over all of them.

According to the report, lawyers for NECC are predicting that the total number of lawsuits filed will probably come in at around 400.

NECC is a compounding pharmacy, which produces specialty medications custom-ordered by physicians. It produced a batch of steroid medication found to be contaminated with a fungus, which is responsible for a meningitis outbreak that has so far sickened 510 people and killed 36 in 19 states.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the tissues surrounding the spinal cord and brain.

Federal health officials warn that as many as 14,000 people may have been exposed to the tainted medication and more cases are likely.

According to the Courier Journal, 40 other cases against the company were filed in federal courts to begin with, putting the total number of pending federal suits at more than 70. And dozens of additional suits still remain in local courts.

In January, a panel of federal judges is scheduled to decide whether the cases should be consolidated and, if so, in what court.

The report quotes a lawyer representing NECC as saying that consolidation will help streamline the process, and save time for everyone concerned. But some lawyers representing meningitis victims have filed motions to have the cases sent back to local courts.

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.

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20121201/NEWS0104/312010111/Push-consolidate-meningitis-suits