Personal Injury

Meningitis Outbreak Injury Lawsuits

Issue: Contaminated steroid injections

Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Linked to Steroid Treatments for Back Pain

Lieff Cabraser represents patients injured or killed by a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak in 2012. More than 14,000 patients across the U.S. were injected with a contaminated medication that caused the outbreak. The New England Compounding Center (“NECC”) in Framingham, Massachusetts, manufactured and sold the drug – an epidural steroid treatment designed to relieve back pain. The contaminated steroid was sold to patients at a number of pain clinics.

Nearly 800 patients developed fungal meningitis, and more than 70 patients died.

Lieff Cabraser is a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the multi-district litigation, and our attorneys act as federal-state liaison counsel. In May 2015, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved a $200 million partial settlement for victims of the outbreak. Bellwether trials against remaining defendants have been set for 2016. Lieff Cabraser is expected to play a lead role in the bellwether trials.

Legal Rights of the Injured

The law in most states provides several personal injury claims for persons who have been seriously injured by a medication that was manufactured defectively and caused dangerous side effects. These claims include strict liability for a defective product, breach of warranty, negligence, and misrepresentation. Damages sought against pharmaceutical companies for dangerous drug side effects and injuries include:

  • Physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and physical impairment;
  • Medical expenses associated with efforts to remedy the injuries as a result of the original surgery; and
  • Loss of earnings and/or earning capacity.
  • In the case of a patient’s death, the family of the victim may file a wrongful death action and seek damages.