Settlement Reached in Fungal Meningitis Outbreak
In September 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiated investigation into an outbreak of fungal meningitis. In May of this year, the parties injured in the outbreak agreed to a financial settlement.
The path of the outbreak led back to the New England Compounding Center (NECC). NECC mixed and distributed sterile pharmaceuticals shipped and administered throughout the United States. As investigators closed in on NECC, the discovery of conditions at the facility horrified patients who had received medications traced to the company.
Those conditions included:
- Sterile rooms without adequate environmental control and inadequate sterilization procedures.
- Pharmaceutical drugs contaminated with fungal spores and bacteria.
- Greenish-yellow mold was discovered growing on sterilization equipment.
- The facility was located in the proximity of a recycling facility and subject to large quantities of dust that infiltrated the premises.
As a result of the contamination, 751 people across the United States were injured and 64 died. Of those who survived, many suffer permanent disability due to the injection of infectious material into their spine and other joint areas.
When conditions at NECC were exposed, its owners ceased operation and gave up their business license. Since then, attorneys for the victims have worked to obtain compensation for the loss of life and injury suffered by their clients.
In May of this year, the former owners and their insurance companies agreed to finance a $100 million settlement fund for the benefit of victims of NECC. The agreement must still be approved by the federal bankruptcy court.
Since the outbreak, federal legislation stiffened regulations involving pharmaceutical compounding facilities. Unfortunately, the improved oversight came too late for victims of these contaminated products.
If you are injured by defective drugs or other products in New York City, speak with an experienced injury attorney about pursuing fair compensation.