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Newsweek has called the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak resulting from tainted steroid shots sold by New England Compounding Center (NECC) a “medical mass murder case.” With the bankruptcy court’s approval in May 2015 of a $200 million settlement as part of the bankruptcy proceedings filed by NECC to protect itself from liability lawsuits anticipated after the outbreak and recall of the medicine, the hundreds of individuals who suffered illness and even death due to the infection will now have access to at least some measure of compensation they deserve.
The settlement, which received nearly unanimous approval from NECC creditors, establishes a tort trust to compensate victims, their families, and survivors of those who died after contracting meningitis or other complications after being injected with the contaminated steroid solution.
Litigation in the NECC Fungal Meningitis Outbreak
Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter is extremely proud to have been a very active participant in the pursuit of justice for victims of the egregious conduct of NECC. Our partner Melvin Wright played several pivotal roles in this complex litigation that proceeded in two separate Massachusetts courts over the last two and a half years, including:
- Serving as a member of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the bankruptcy court – Mr. Wright was one of only eight attorneys nationwide to serve on this body
- Co-chairing the Florida subcommittee of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the multidistrict litigation in the Massachusetts federal district court
- Representing 50 Florida clients who fell victim to tainted steroids produced and sold by NECC
Over 3,000 claims have been filed against NECC since the outbreak occurred. Some of the company’s owners and employees involved in the production of the tainted steroids are also facing criminal charges
More than 60 people died and over 700 sustained serious injury after being injected with tainted steroids. NECC persistently valued profit and productivity over safety. Not only did the company seek to sell its medication in bulk – which, as a compounding pharmacy and not a manufacturer, it wasn’t legally allowed to do – but pharmacists failed to maintain clean-room conditions and perform safety checks to ensure the drugs they produced weren’t compromised.
What’s Next in NECC Litigation?
Now that the bankruptcy settlement has been approved, victims could begin receiving payments before the end of this year.
As demonstrated by the New England Compounding Center case, dangerous and defective medications pose a tremendous risk to public health and can affect individuals throughout the country. If you or someone you love suffered injury due to a dangerous drug or other defective product, please contact the lawyers at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter or call (407) 712-7300 today for a free consultation. Our attorneys have experience litigating these complex cases in Florida and nationwide.