IBJNews

Settlement seeks $100M fund for meningitis victims

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A settlement filed with a federal bankruptcy judge would create a fund of more than $100 million to compensate victims of a nationwide meningitis outbreak linked to a Massachusetts pharmacy, lawyers said Tuesday.

The outbreak, blamed on a tainted steroid produced by the New England Compounding Center, sickened more than 750 people in 20 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said; 64 people died. The company surrendered its license after the 2012 outbreak, which hit Michigan, Tennessee and Indiana the hardest, and later filed for bankruptcy.

Indiana saw about 80 cases of illness from the steroid and at least 10 deaths.

The settlement, which must be approved by Judge Henry Boroff, was reached between the owners of the company and court-appointed bankruptcy trustee Paul Moore. It calls for the company's owners to pay $50 million into the fund, with its insurers contributing another $25 million.

The agreement would allow the owners to seek $20 million in tax refunds, which also would be contributed to the fund, along with the proceeds of the proposed sale of an affiliated company, Ameridose, bringing the total of the fund to more than $100 million.

Attorney Thomas Sobol, representing victims who sued the Framingham-based compounding pharmacy, said the settlement is "another important step in a frustratingly long process to get fair compensation to hundreds of victims of the meningitis outbreak."

Sobol said he hoped the court would approve the plan by the end of the year, with distributions to victims beginning in early 2015.

"There was unimaginable human death and suffering that cannot be compensated for in money no matter how much it would be," he added.

The money would be distributed among families of those who died, those who sustained serious injuries after being injected with the steroid and other creditors. The victims developed fungal meningitis, an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, or other infections.

The settlement was filed nearly five months after lawyers reached an agreement in principal.

Moore said the objective of the negotiations was to resolve claims against the company without lengthy court proceedings, and he praised shareholders for their commitment to reaching a settlement that would benefit victims.

A group of shareholders, in a statement, acknowledged that no amount of money could adequately compensate the families.

"This will bring hope to the lives of so many victims who lost loved ones and those who still are suffering the consequences from this horrible disaster," said Anne Andrews, a California attorney who served as co-chair of a committee representing unsecured creditors of the company.

No criminal charges have been lodged in the case. The company's owners have denied wrongdoing or liability.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Really, taking someone managing the regulation of Alcohol and making himthe President of an IVY Tech regional campus. Does he have an education background?

  2. Jan, great rant. Now how about you review the report and offer rebuttal of the memo. This might be more conducive to civil discourse than a wild rant with no supporting facts. Perhaps some links to support your assertions would be helpful

  3. I've lived in Indianapolis my whole and been to the track 3 times. Once for a Brickyard, once last year on a practice day for Indy 500, and once when I was a high school student to pick up trash for community service. In the past 11 years, I would say while the IMS is a great venue, there are some upgrades that would show that it's changing with the times, just like the city is. First, take out the bleachers and put in individual seats. Kentucky Motor Speedway has individual seats and they look cool. Fix up the restrooms. Add wi-fi. Like others have suggested, look at bringing in concerts leading up to events. Don't just stick with the country music genre. Pop music would work well too I believe. This will attract more young celebrities to the Indy 500 like the kind that go to the Kentucky Derby. Work with Indy Go to increase the frequency of the bus route to the track during high end events. That way people have other options than worrying about where to park and paying for parking. Then after all of this, look at getting night lights. I think the aforementioned strategies are more necessary than night racing at this point in time.

  4. Talking about congestion ANYWHERE in Indianapolis is absolutely laughable. Sure you may have to wait in 5 minutes of traffic to travel down BR avenue during *peak* times. But that is absolutely nothing compared to actual big cities. Indy is way too suburban to have actual congestion problems. So please, never bring up "congestion" as an excuse to avoid development in Indianapolis. If anything, we could use a little more.

  5. Oh wait. Never mind.

ADVERTISEMENT