February 10, 2015 — A panel of federal judges have decided to centralize lawsuits against clinics and doctors who administered tainted steroid injections, resulting in a deadly outbreak of meningitis two years ago.
Against the objections of several anonymous healthcare providers in Indiana, the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (JPML) transferred two lawsuits into the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, where they will be overseen by Judge Rya W. Zobel.
The lawsuits involve injuries allegedly caused by contaminated injectable steroids made by New England Compounding Center (NECC).
Last year, the owners of NECC were charged with murder and racketeering. The government also seized more than $18 million. Victims of the outbreak could have access to $200 million, according to Law360.
The plaintiffs, Donna Hosea and James Allen, accuse their healthcare providers of negligence for ordering steroid injections in bulk from NECC, rather than custom-mixing injections for individual prescriptions. They are also accused of failing to ensure the injections were sterile before administering them to patients.
The outbreak of fungal meningitis killed 64 people and injured another 751 people nationwide. Dozens of healthcare facilities in 23 states received lots of contaminated steroid injections, including the following facilities in Texas:
- Dallas Back Pain Management (Dallas, Texas)
- Harris Methodist Southlake Center (Southlake, Texas)