First Meningitis Suit Filed in Michigan
The first Michigan lawsuit based on the nationwide outbreak of meningitis has been filed in Livingston County Circuit Court.
The outbreak stems from the production of contaminated steroid injections produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Massachusetts. Michigan is the hardest-hit state in the country with a reported 261 instances of which 17 resulted in death.
The lawsuit alleges that a Brighton clinic, Michigan Pain Specialists, PLLC continued using the tainted steroids after NECC issued a recall. The recall occurred on September 26, 2012, and this complaint states that Plaintiff was injected with the tainted steroid six days later on October 2. The complaint alleges general negligence against the clinic and failing to complete due diligence on NECC. Robert Sickels, attorney for the plaintiff, believes that at least 22 more Michigan lawsuits will be filed for additional plaintiffs.
This local lawsuit is in addition to many Federal lawsuits filed against NECC across the country. It is likely that these Federal suits will all be consolidated and tried in Federal court in Massachusetts. These suits claim that unsanitary and substandard conditions at the facility caused the steroids to be contaminated with fungus. Additionally, a federal grand jury is currently conducting a criminal investigation into the owners of NECC.
NECC does have a $21 million insurance policy, but with over 700 cases of infections reported across the country, that amount is “woefully insignificant,” given the large number of plaintiffs and the magnitude of their damages. Plaintiffs are now seeking to recover from other parties that may be liable. State lawsuits have been filed against clinics in other states as well, including Virginia and Tennessee.