50 Fungal Meningitis Lawsuits Filed in Federal Court After Outbreak, More to Come
With more than 500 people sick, and 37 dead from the contaminated epidural steroid injections they received last summer courtesy of the now-defunct New England Compounding Center (NECC), it was only a matter of time before fungal meningitis lawsuits started piling up in the U.S.
There are now more than 50 lawsuits in nine states filed against the NECC, with more being brought to state courts often. The epidural steroid injections were recalled in September 2012, after being on the market since May 21, 2012. It is estimated that 14,000 people received the contaminated shots.
Months later, hundreds of Americans are still suffering fungal meningitis, spinal abscesses, strokes, as well as chronic nausea, vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, drowsiness, exhaustion, trouble with speech and other side effects.
Nashville, Tennessee’s Dennis O’Brien is one such victim who has brought a fungal meningitis lawsuit to court after spending thousands of dollars on hospital visits and lost wages as a result of the contaminated epidural steroid shots—not to mention the seemingly endless pain and suffering he has been forced to endure. His fungal meningitis lawsuit seeks $4 million in damages from the Massachusetts pharmacy who distributed the shots.
Of his recovery process, O’Brien told KVUE, a virtual channel affiliate of ABC News, “I don’t have a life anymore. My life is a (fungal) meningitis life,” the 59-year-old former school teacher said.
O’Brien’s claims, like the dozens of others who have filed complaints against the NEC, allege that the company manufactured and sold a dangerous and defective product that has caused thousands of fungal meningitis patients to suffer painful recoveries, lost wages and an immeasurable amount of emotional agony.
In an effort to organize the mounting fungal meningitis lawsuits in federal court, attorneys are asking that all proceedings be assigned to a single judge, by way of a multidistrict litigation (MDL). It has not been decided yet whether the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will grant this request in the coming months.