Claims Deadline Looming In NECC Bankruptcy Case For Victims Of Tainted Steroids
In 2012 approximately 14,000 people were exposed to injections manufactured in unsanitary and non-sterile conditions by New England Compounding Company (NECC), a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts. The drugs, methylprednisone acetate, an injectable steroid used primarily in epidural injections for pain relief, were contaminated with mold and/or fungus. As a result, hundreds of innocent victims were infected. Many developed fungal meningitis and other illnesses and infections. Many died and many more still suffer from symptoms caused by these dangerous drugs.
After a petition was filed to freeze the assets of the company, NECC filed for bankruptcy protection in Massachusetts in 2012 and recently the bankruptcy court set January 15, 2014 as the deadline for filing claims, including personal injury and wrongful death claims, against NECC in the bankruptcy court. As the bankruptcy proceedings have developed, the framework has been established for a potential bankruptcy resolution of all claims against both bankrupt and non bankrupt entities and individuals having potential liability for the manufacture, distribution, marketing, and administration of these tainted steroid injectables. All individuals who may have received a contaminated injection, and their families, should be aware that the failure to ensure that the appropriate bankruptcy claims agent receives both a proof of claim and a PITWD addendum before the deadline may result in those claims being forever barred by the court. Completed forms should be submitted to claims agent Donlin Recano, and not filed with the bankruptcy court.
As this critical deadline approaches, we are alerting victims as well as their attorneys that to preserve their legal rights, they must act immediately to file their claims and appropriate paperwork by this deadline. The failure to submit a claim by January 15 could cause the court to forever bar claims against NECC, and in fact, even other wrongdoers who may be liable for damages resulting from the meningitis outbreak or the sale of these contaminated drugs.
The 2012 outbreak of fungal meningitis infections was the worst such outbreak in U.S. history. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ultimately recorded 64 deaths and 751 cases of fungal meningitis in 20 states, linked to tainted injections manufactured and distributed by NECC. Following the outbreak, hundreds of lawsuits were filed, alleging that NECC and affiliated companies ignored the most basic safety procedures in its facilities, resulting in the tainted injections. The company filed for bankruptcy in December of 2012. CGWC represents 50 Floridians who received these tainted injectables, and partner Melvin B. Wright is a member of the 8 member Official Creditors Committee in the bankruptcy proceedings, representing the interests of victims nationwide.