The owners and insurers of the Massachusetts compounding pharmacy blamed for a deadly, multistate fungal meningitis outbreak have agreed to pay more than $100 million to settle lawsuits and compensate victims, families of victims and creditors.
At least 751 people were sickened and 64 died after receiving contaminated steroid injections manufactured by New England Compounding Center (NECC). About 18,000 tainted shots were distributed to medical facilities in 23 states, and an estimated 14,000 people were exposed to the fungus after receiving the shots commonly used to treat back, neck and joint pain. Hundreds of patients developed fungal infections, including meningitis.
As investigators with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began closing in on NECC as the source of the outbreak, NECC issued a recall of all its sterile products and subsequently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Despite the shuttering of NECC, the pharmacy’s owners made out with millions of dollars claiming its insurance companies would sufficiently compensate victims. Lawsuits followed.
The funds are expected to come from the company’s owners, insurers, tax refunds and proceeds from the sale of a related business. A “significant amount of the funds” is expected to be available for distribution to victims and their families “as compensation for the deaths, injuries and suffering they endured as a result of this tragic meningitis outbreak,” the bankruptcy trustee said.
The settlement, which first requires court approval, does not cover claims against the medical facilities that sold the contaminated steroids or other vendors of NECC.
Source: Fox News