Approximately 330 people have been affected by the meningitis outbreak and at least 24 have died. There have been 11 reported cases in Ohio to date, and health officials expect more cases to surface. According to the FDA, more than 14,000 people may have received injections of the infected steroid.
Which begs the question: What about the victims? Can they bring medical malpractice lawsuits to recover compensation for their injuries? What about the families of those who have died?
Information About the Infection
The infection is linked directly to an injected drug that was produced by the New England Compounding Center and shipped to medical facilities across the nation. The specific drug – methylprednisolone acetate – was used to help with back, knee and shoulder pain, though the FDA is asking doctors to follow up with any patient who received an injected drug produced by the Compounding Center, including eye and heart drugs.
Meningitis is the inflammation of the lining around the spinal cord and brain. This rare form of fungal meningitis, Exserohilum Rostratum, has caused a wide range of symptoms, from fever to sensitivity to light to slurred speech. If you have received an injected drug that is linked to the New England Compounding Center and you experience any symptoms out of the ordinary, see a doctor immediately.
If, after speaking with a medical professional, you learn that you have been infected with meningitis, you may have legal recourse. You had every right to expect that the drug you were receiving for back pain or another reason would help you, not hurt you.
Medical malpractice lawyers have filed more than a dozen pharmacy malpractice lawsuits in the U.S. already and it is expected that classes of patients will be created to take on the compounding center and other liable parties. The lawsuits accuse the compounding center of negligence, breach of warranty and pharmacy malpractice, among other things. Plaintiffs may also be able to bring lawsuits against the clinics where they received the injections.
We understand that you are under a lot of stress right now and you would rather focus on getting better or mourning your loved one than spend time worrying about a lawsuit. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can take the burden of the lawsuit off your shoulders and fight to ensure that those who injured you are held accountable.
Source: U.S.News, “Meningitis Outbreak Toll Now 23 Dead, 284 Sickened: CDC,” Oct. 20, 2012