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Company Blamed for Meningitis Outbreak Hit with $1.17B Suit

In Tennessee alone, claims now total nearly $1.5B

Published: January 21, 2014

A Nashville, Tenn., clinic has filed a $1.17 billion claim against the New England Compounding Center, which was blamed for the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak that killed at least 48 people and infected hundreds of others in 23 states, the Tennessean reports.

The outbreak was traced to 3 lots of medication used for epidural steroid injections. Roughly 14,000 patients were injected with the fungus-tainted steroid.

The Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgical Center filed the case in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Boston. Healthcare providers in Tennessee, the site of 16 patient deaths, have now filed claims totaling nearly $1.5 billion, including a $240 million claim by the Specialty Center of Crossville.

Lawyers for the clinics say they were forced to file because dozens of suits have been filed against their clients. A lawyer for several patients who are suing Saint Thomas called the filing a "shameful attempt to take money from the limited fund that is intended to compensate families." In late 2012, the compounding center filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Massachusetts. Lawyers involved in the case expect only about $100 million to be available.

Jim Burger

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