Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

$200 Million Settlement Approved for 2012 Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

by Staff Blogger | May 20th, 2015

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration creates policies that regulate the manufacturing of medications to ensure patient safety. But many companies fail to adhere to these rules, resulting in innocent people being harmed.

One such case was the fungal meningitis outbreak of 2012 that claimed the lives of dozens of Tennesseans and left hundreds of others sickened.

A Boston-based company, the New England Compounding Center, was responsible for manufacturing tainted steroid injections. These injections were then distributed throughout the country, including Tennessee.

Soon after patients began receiving the injections, some became violently ill. Some of the symptoms included fever, nausea, vomiting, seizures, confusion, swelling of the brain and spinal cord, and even death. Further testing determined patients had been exposed to fungus, and it was traced back to the injections.

Many victims filed lawsuits against the maker of the tainted injections and the doctors who gave them. Now, according to an article from WKRN 2 News, a judge has approved a $200 million plan to compensate the victims. Officials say those entitled to the compensation can expect to begin receiving payments this year.

At Ponce Law, our Nashville personal injury lawyers are hopeful this settlement can bring closure to fungal meningitis outbreak victims and their families.

Pharmacy Responsible for Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Facing Criminal Penalties

by Staff Blogger | December 5th, 2014

Manufacturers of medications in the United States must adhere to strict hygiene and safety regulations when creating their products. Otherwise, they could face both criminal and civil penalties.

The owners of one Tennessee compounding pharmacy recently pleaded guilty to charges of making and distributing a contaminated drug last year that resulted in a fungal meningitis outbreak. The medication was responsible for sickening as many as 26 patients who received the tainted steroid injections from the pharmacy.

According to reports from The Tennessean, the owner of Main Street Family Pharmacy in Newbern, Tennessee, and his wife pleaded guilty in a Memphis courtroom to violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which states that companies cannot put unsafe products on the market. The convictions came after U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulators inspected the pharmacy’s compounding facility in May and June 2013. The pharmacy failed to properly sanitize and disinfect the rooms and equipment used to compound drugs. Furthermore, the pharmacy failed to properly test their products for safety.

As a result, both the owner and his wife were sentenced to 12 months probation and as much as $50,000 in fines. The pharmacy also isn’t allowed to operate until it meets state and federal health standards.

At Ponce Law, we recognize the importance of creating accountability among drug manufacturers. That’s why our Nashville personal injury lawyers encourage you to speak with an attorney if you or a loved one have been harmed by a drug. Contact our 24/7 legal team today—just dial (800) 363-9113.

One Arrest Made in the Wake of the 2012 Tennessee Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

by Staff Blogger | September 17th, 2014

In 2012, a Fungal Meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated steroid injections was responsible for claiming dozens of lives and leaving hundreds of others ill. Now, it seems progress is being made in criminally prosecuting those responsible for creating the contaminated drugs.

According to WKRN 2 News, the pharmacist responsible for creating the contaminated steroid injections that were manufactured at the New England Compounding Center has been arrested as he was preparing to board a flight for Hong Kong. Federal officials claim the 46-year-old man was responsible for fraudulently maintaining sanitation logs and failing to practice standard sanitation practices while mixing medications. The man is currently facing one count of mail fraud, but could face more charges later.

While criminal prosecution may be satisfying to many victims, it can’t pay them back for the damages caused by the outbreak.

However, the civil justice system allows people affected by acts of negligence like this one to seek compensation for their damages. If you’ve been harmed by the negligence of another, our Tennessee personal injury lawyers are here to help you. Call Ponce Law today at (800) 363-9113 to learn more about what we can do for you.

More Lawsuits Filed in Connection With Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

by Staff Blogger | February 14th, 2014

February 14, 2014

Drug manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure their products are safe. Failure to do so can result in costly penalties and civil litigation being filed against the responsible parties.

One such case stems from the thousands of steroid injections distributed by a Massachusetts compounding center that contained a fungus which sickened hundreds and claimed the lives of 16 Tennesseans.

Now, thousands of claims are being filed against the compounding center responsible for the Fungal Meningitis Outbreak. Included in those lawsuits is one filed by Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgical Center for $1.17 billion. An article from The Tennessean stated the Specialty Surgery Center of Crossville has filed a similar claim for $240 million, while an affiliate with the facility is seeking an additional $25 million. Experts say $100 million may be all that is available to the victims of the outbreak, however.

The claims were filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Boston, and the first trials in the case are expected to begin in the coming months.

The Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers with Ponce Law are aware of how difficult recovering from drug injuries can be. That is why the firm is hopeful a resolution to these cases brings a sense of closure to the victims of the outbreak and their families.

New Law Creates Stricter Safety Standards for Drug Compounding Facilities

by Staff Blogger | November 22nd, 2013

November 22, 2013

Last year, 153 Tennesseans were sickened by contaminated steroid injections manufactured by a compounding pharmacy. Investigators later determined that a gap between state and federal law had allowed the defective medications to make their way onto the market.

The Nashville Meningitis Outbreak Lawyers with Ponce Law state that legislators addressed the issue recently by passing a bill that creates more stringent regulation of the drug compounding industry. Officials hope the move will improve the safety of compounded medications and to prevent similar situations from occurring.

An article published by The Tennessean explains the bill would allow “large-scale” compounding facilities to register with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an outsourcing provider. The title would create a sense of accreditation through a series of regular inspections considered more rigid than other testing and examination of practices.

While some fully support the changes to regulations, others say the reform will still hold compounding facilities to the same standards of operation that are upheld at traditional drug manufacturing facilities.

Michael D. Ponce & Associates has a team of Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers that recognizes the dangers contaminated drugs pose to the public and are hopeful the new regulations are effective in preventing future drug injuries.

More Lawsuits Filed In Connection With Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

by Staff Blogger | October 28th, 2013

October 28, 2013

After hundreds of patients were killed or sickened as the result of contaminated steroid injections, the Nashville Meningitis Outbreak Lawyers with Ponce Law say lawsuits are now being filed on behalf of victims. The lawsuits claim that the facilities where the injections were given, the company who manufactured the tainted shots, and the company responsible for testing the injections failed to protect the health and safety of consumers. The lawsuits further claim this negligence led to the outbreak of fungal meningitis.

An article from WBIR News explains that the statute of limitations governing these cases calls for claims to be filed within one year of victims becoming aware of the harm that may have been done to them. The story told of several patients who suffered severe adverse health events after receiving the tainted injections. Many required several surgeries and hospitalizations to repair the damage the infection caused.

Most patients filing claims are seeking compensation for future medical expenses that will result from the disease. The stipulation is more important than ever before, considering reports of five patients suffering relapses of infection.

Michael D. Ponce & Associates’ team of Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers is here to answer any questions an individual who has been harmed by a medication may have regarding their legal rights.

Family Files Suit in Connection with Death Allegedly Caused by Contaminated Drug

by Staff Blogger | October 9th, 2013

October 9, 2013

Drug manufacturers are required by law to ensure the safety of the products they release. Failure to do so can result in the drug company facing massive and costly recalls, as well as claims of liability through civil litigation filed on behalf of those harmed.

Hundreds of cases have been filed in connection with a fungal meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated steroid injections made by a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy. The Nashville Meningitis Outbreak Lawyers with Ponce Law explain that the most recent case to be filed stems from the death of a five-year-old boy from Chattanooga who died after receiving drugs recalled by the compounding facility in the wake of the outbreak.

An article published by The Tennessean states the child received a mixture of electrolytes and a muscle relaxant, known as Methocarbamol, that was manufactured by the New England Compounding Center. It was later discovered the muscle relaxant was recalled due to a risk of fungal and bacterial contamination.

This prompted the family of the child to file a civil lawsuit alleging the drug was to blame for the boy’s death.

Michael D. Ponce & Associates team of Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers are aware of how difficult losing a loved one to a contaminated drug can be and hope a decision in this case brings some closure to the family of the victim.

Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Victims Awaiting Compensation

by Staff Blogger | October 2nd, 2013

October 2, 2013

Contaminated steroid injections were to blame for a fungal meningitis outbreak that sickened hundreds people and claimed dozens of lives. However, the Nashville Meningitis Outbreak Lawyers with Ponce Law point out it seems it may take time for victims to receive restitution.

An article published in The Boston Globe explains the hold up is determining liability in the case. Officials must decide which entities should be held responsible and how much of the outbreak was each party’s fault.

The New England Compounding Center, the manufacturer of the tainted drugs, will likely take much of the responsibility. Unfortunately for plaintiffs, the company filed for bankruptcy just days after surrendering its licenses to conduct business. A judge agreed to freeze $21 million in assets from the company, but this could be just a drop in the bucket when damages are tallied for the 750 individuals who have filed suits in connection to the outbreak.

Officials are now considering holding vendors and healthcare providers partially responsible. So far, companies have been offered the opportunity to donate funds to victims in exchange for immunity, but little interest in the offer has been shown.

Michael D. Ponce & Associates’ team of Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers recognize how complex the battle for compensation has become for meningitis victims, and the firm is here to help. Call us today to discuss your legal rights if you were harmed by tainted steroid injections.

Nashville Meningitis Outbreak Lawyers Examine Statutes of Limitations for Injuries

by Staff Blogger | September 13th, 2013

September 13, 2013

The Nashville Meningitis Outbreak Lawyers with Ponce Law explain that victims are frantically beginning to file lawsuits as the one-year anniversary of contaminated injections that led to the deaths of dozens of patients and sickened hundreds approaches. In fact, more than a dozen complaints have been filed in the past eleven days.

An article published by The Tennessean states that in October 2012, the U.S Food and Drug Administration announced the voluntary recall of products from a Massachusetts compounding center. The recall was made in connection with the contamination of steroid injections with a leaf fungus during the manufacturing process. These injections were responsible for the deaths of 15 people and the sickening of 153 more in the state of Tennessee alone.

In the wake of the discovery, patients who were harmed began filing suits against the facilities and doctors who dispensed the tainted injection. One particular facility located in Crossville was facing a total of five lawsuits, while others throughout Nashville and Brentwood were included in lawsuits as well.

A one-year statute of limitations that establishes a time limit in whcih an injured patient must pursue legal action is fast approaching.

This is why Michael D. Ponce & Associates’ team of Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers encourages anyone who was harmed as a result of the recent Meningitis outbreak to discuss their legal rights with an attorney.

Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Numbers Allegedly Underreported in Tennessee

by Staff Blogger | September 6th, 2013

September 6, 2013

The Nashville Meningitis Outbreak Lawyers with Ponce Law explain that patients began reporting that they were infected with fungal meningitis after receiving a steroid injection in Sept. 2012. Now, officials are saying the number of patients killed or injured by the infection may have been underreported in Tennessee.

According to an article from The Republic, a complaint filed in a U.S District Court this week showed that a man from Goodlettsville passed away on Jan. 13 after developing fungal meningitis from spinal injections at a medical facility in Nashville.

However, the official death toll in Tennessee only shows a total of 15 deaths with no fatalities listed during the month that the man died. So far, it is estimated that more than 750 patients may have been exposed to the deadly disease through the contaminated injections.

In the wake of these findings, an increasing number of affected patients are filing lawsuits against the manufacturer of the injections and the facilities who administered the shots to patients.

Michael D. Ponce & Associates’ team of Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers is aware of the difficulties the victims of a fungal meningitis infection can face. The firm is here to help anyone who has been harmed as the result of contaminated medications.