At least one aspect of the horrifying story from last year about contaminated steroid injections that killed 60-some people and sickened more than 700 may be coming to an end. As reported on AboutLawsuits.com, parties involved in the litigation against the New England Compounding Pharmacy (NECC), whose product was responsible for the outbreak of fungal meningitis (See our blog, “Lack of Resources, Authority Invites Contamination at Compounding Pharmacies”), have signaled that a $100 million compensation fund will be established for victims.
The NECC and attorneys representing victims announced the settlement agreement last week, releasing preliminary details before a status conference scheduled in early January in the federal court system, where several hundred cases have been combined.
The meningitis outbreak was traced to epidural steroid injections distributed by NECC to hospitals and pain management centers nationwide. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 14,000 U.S. residents were exposed to the tainted shots.
The NECC’s license was revoked, and the company went bankrupt. But its former owners continue to deny responsibility for the illnesses and deaths.
They agreed to the settlement to “play a major role in establishing a fund for people who died or suffered as a result of this tragic outbreak,” according to a statement by their attorneys.
Plaintiff attorneys, according to AboutLawsuits, said that litigation will continue even if the settlement is finalized, because additional parties might be liable for the injuries suffered, including pain clinics and hospitals where the shots were administered, as well as the doctors who administered them or advised patients to have them.