Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Fungal meningitis probe ongoing in Pennsylvania and other states

Contaminated injectable steroids led to an outbreak of fungal meningitis last fall that federal government officials said caused nearly 750 illnesses and killed 63 people. Product liability attorneys began to file what may become dozens, if not hundreds, of cases for victims of an unsafe product.

One patient was diagnosed with the condition after a tainted injection in Pennsylvania, but no deaths from the outbreak were reported in the state by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Other states like Michigan and Tennessee registered hundreds of victims.

The patients who contracted the sometimes-fatal but non-contagious form of meningitis took for granted the drugs they received were contaminant-free. Patients are not supposed to worry whether medication provided by a licensed health care professional is flawed. Drug manufacturers are the ones responsible for the safety of their products.

The meningitis outbreak last fall was traced to the New England Compounding Center, a drug company that has since filed for bankruptcy. Multiple personal injury and wrongful death complaints filed in individual states against are being consolidated in a federal court.

Fungal meningitis symptoms do not appear immediately but, when they do, symptoms initially appear flu-like. Meningitis is diagnosed when fungus moves from the bloodstream to other parts of the body. Treatment involves a course of antifungal drugs and often lengthy hospital care. The progressive condition can lead to strokes and death.

An outbreak survivor claimed in a recently filed lawsuit that he still suffered effects from contracting fungal meningitis last year. He and others like him have racked up thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages due to a corrupted drug.

As a precautionary measure, all NECC products were recalled. The federal investigation into possible victims of the tainted drug in Pennsylvania and other states continues today. The CDC warns anyone with possible fungal meningitis symptoms to seek treatment as quickly as possible.

Source:, "Meningitis victim files suit as 1-year deadline nears" Walter F. Roche Jr., Aug. 21, 2013

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