It's Official: Fungal Meningitis Victims to Share $100 Million Settlement, Attorneys with Janet, Jenner & Suggs Announce
BOSTON, May 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Victims of contaminated steroid injections who sued in federal courts will share a $100 million settlement against the products' compounder, New England Compounding Center (NECC), attorneys with Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC, announced today.
"There are hundreds of victims and their families feeling some relief today, even though grief for many is still fresh," said attorney Kimberly Dougherty, JJ&S lawyer who serves on the NECC Plaintiffs Steering Committee ("PSC"), which has been representing the victims. The tainted injections ultimately killed 64 people and injured over 750 in 20 states in the nation's worst ever outbreak of fungal meningitis.
"This tragedy claimed the lives of mothers, fathers, spouses, grandparents, no amount of money is going to make these losses easier to bear," she added.
The settlement was tentatively agreed upon last December. It was officially filed today with the bankruptcy court, which must approve it. The bankruptcy court is overseeing NECC's bankruptcy, filed in 2012. The settlement is with NECC, NECC's owners, related companies, and insurers. The Case is In re: New England Compounding Pharmacy Inc. Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2419, in the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ("MDL").
According to Dougherty, victims could be receiving compensation as early as next year, with more compensation on the way from other companies that contributed to the victims' losses. "Decisions regarding which of the 3,300 claimants will receive compensation from the settlement funds have yet to be made and will take considerable time over the next several months," Dougherty said.
The MDL litigation will continue against other named defendants, said Robert Jenner, who heads JJ&S Mass Torts Division. "We will continue to pursue justice for victims from those whose actions contributed to the product contamination and distribution, like the companies responsible for the clean room and air filtration systems design, installation and maintenance at the NECC facility, and the hospitals, clinics and doctors who purchased or administered the injections," Jenner said.
The announced settlement covers all claims against NECC filed in with the bankruptcy claims administrator. The lawsuits were originally consolidated in 2012 as Multidistrict Litigation before Massachusetts U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV, and have now been transferred to U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel. An MDL is established to make litigation of multiple lawsuits against similar defendants more efficient. Hundreds of lawsuits are pending in the MDL court.
The number of those cases will certainly grow as the second anniversary nears of the outbreak, which the Centers for disease Control and Prevention first identified in September of 2012, and various states' statutes of limitations are triggered, Dougherty added.
According to the terms of the settlement:
- NECC owners Barry Cadden, Lisa Cadden, Carla Conigliaro, and Greg Conigliaro will contribute more than $50 million. These NECC insiders will also contribute an additional estimated $10 million contribution, which come from 90 percent of their expected tax refunds.
- Pharmacists Mutual and Maxum, insurance companies representing NECC and a related company Ameridose, are contributing more than $25 million.
An additional contribution will be made if and when the sale of Ameridose is completed, estimated to be valued at approximately $9 million, Dougherty noted.
"We are dedicated to continuing to obtain fair compensation from all wrongdoers who contributed to this tragedy. The compensation will not end with this settlement," said Dougherty.
About Janet, Jenner & Suggs
Janet, Jenner & Suggs is a national firm noted for its expertise in dangerous drugs and medical devices, birth injury and cerebral palsy cases, and environmental litigation. The firm has offices in Maryland, South Carolina, Massachusetts, New York, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Minnesota, and West Virginia. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.myadvocates.com.
Contact: Teresa Kelly
For Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC
SOURCE Janet, Jenner & Suggs