Meningitis Outbreak

The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan investigated potential lawsuits on behalf of patients who were diagnosed with meningitis following a routine steroid injection.

According to federal health officials more than 300 people in at least 17 states became ill from a rare form of meningitis, an outbreak of which is believed to have stemmed from the contamination of an injected medication used to reduce back and neck pain. A handful of fungal meningitis lawsuits{:target="_blank"} were filed since the outbreak, which started in late September 2012. Up to 14,000 are believed to have received the allegedly tainted steroid.

Outbreak of Fungal Meningitis Linked to Compounding Pharmacy

On Sept. 24, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health received notice from health officials in Tennessee that six patients had been diagnosed with a rare form of fungal meningitis. These patients had a number of risk factors in common, including a steroid injection which was made at the New England Compounding Center{:target="_blank"}, located in Framingham, Mass. Two days later, the state Department of Public Health began an on-site investigation of the NECC’s premises and shortly thereafter, found fungal matter in sealed vials of the allegedly sterile steroid known as methylprednisolone acetate. It’s unclear how the fungus, which is found in soil and plants, reached the vials.

Other preliminary findings of the inspection including the following health and safety deficiencies:

  • Visibly soiled mats intended to trap dust, dirt and other contaminants from shoes prior to room entry
  • Leaky boiler which created unsanitary conditions prone to contaminant growth
  • Failure to test a machine used to kill potential contaminants to ensure proper function
  • Shipment of steroids before receiving confirmation from tests that they were sterile

Status of the Fungal Meningitis Lawsuits

On Oct. 16, a motion was filed to consolidate the pending meningitis lawsuits into an MDL (multi-district litigation), which would aim to expedite the claims and ensure they are resolved consistently. The motion claims that all the pending cases involve similar facts and allegations, including whether NECC violated the law by manufacturing and distributing a tainted steroid. The suits also share similar claims involving the liability of NECC, which they claim is responsible to plaintiffs for the following: design defects; manufacturing defects; negligence; breach of warranty; misrepresentation; and failure to warn consumers of the risks of fungal meningitis linked to its steroid injections.

Fungal Meningitis Lawyer: Did You Receive a Spinal Steroid Injection?

This lawsuit is no longer open. To see our open investigations, check out our class action lawsuits page. To stay up to date on dangerous outbreaks resulting from negligence, bookmark{:target="_blank"}.

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