Tuesday, May 06, 2014

$100 Million Settlement for Victims in NECC Meningitis Outbreak

English: Logo of the Centers for Disease Contr...
English: Logo of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services. White on blue background with white rays but no white "burst". No detailed wording. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I've been working on the NECC Meningitis tragedy since November, 2012. As a member of the seven lawyer Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, it's been some of the most tragic litigation I've been a part of in more than 20 years of practice.  The reason? The many deaths and grievous harm that so many have suffered through or died from, through 0% fault of their own. Here's part of the news reports: 

Today,  the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, the legal committee representing victims in federal court, today announced a $100 million settlement for victims who were exposed to tainted epidural steroid injections manufactured by New England Compounding Center (NECC), which caused a recorded 64 deaths. The tentative settlement announced late last year has now been reduced to writing, signed by the parties and filed with the bankruptcy court. 

The 2012 outbreak was the worst such outbreak in U.S. history. The CDC ultimately recorded 751 cases of fungal meningitis and infections in 20 states, linked to tainted injections compounded and distributed by NECC.

The settlement involves NECC, NECC’s owners, related companies and insurers. The settlement is pending approval from the bankruptcy court. Given the timing of the settlement, it is possible that victims could receive compensation as early as next year.
“The job that we are duty bound to complete is far from over. We will continue with our efforts to hold other wrongdoers accountable, including companies like UniFirst, who was responsible for controlling contamination,” Mark Zamora, a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee said. 
The terms of the settlement includes personal contributions of almost $50 million from NECC owners Barry Cadden, Lisa Cadden, Carla Conigliaro and Greg Conigliaro. According to the settlement, insiders will also assign 90 percent of their expected tax refunds, which the insiders estimate will amount to an additional $20 million contribution.
Ameridose, the insurers for NECC and a related company, Pharmacists Mutual and Maxum, are contributing more than $25 million. Other insurers, including Lloyd’s of London and Ironshores, have not contributed to the settlement.
An additional contribution will be made if and when the sale of Ameridose is completed, estimated to be valued at about $10 million.

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