2 Class Action Suits Have Been Filed along with Growing List of Victims

A woman claiming that she received a contaminated steroid injection has filed the first lawsuit against New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Massachusetts on Thursday in federal court.

The victim says that she was one of approximately 14,000 people who may have received contaminated steroid shots. She, like most of the victims, received the injections to relieve chronic back pain.  On September 17th, she began experiencing headaches and nausea, which lasted one week, following treatment at a pain clinic near her home, her lawsuit alleges.  Soon after, she received a phone call from state health officials advising her to contact her doctor to confirm contamination of the steroid injection she had received.

To determine whether the injection was indeed contaminated, the victim underwent a painful spinal tap, as well as other tests, for which she claims she has been suffering emotional distress.

In her lawsuit, the victim accuses NECC of negligence and is suing them for an unspecified amount of money in damages. She is seeking class action status for the lawsuit to cover other people in Minnesota who have received the tainted steroid injections, as well as suffering “bodily harm, emotional distress, and other personal injuries after being injected with NECC’s contaminated steroid.” She has only sued NECC and not the local clinic. Her complaint asserts claims for strict liability and negligence.

Another lawsuit has been filed in Roanoke Circuit Court in Virginia by a back-pain patient claiming she became ill from tainted steroid injections.

The 74-year-old, real-estate agent brought the $5 million case Tuesday against NECC, as well as Insight Imaging, the Roanoke outpatient clinic where she received the steroid injections for her back pain.

This case is the sixth legal action taken in Roanoke in the past week.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the contaminated pain medication has killed 24 people and sickened 317.  (Two patients from Virginia have died following the steroid injections.) As the number of people who come forward after being sickened by the tainted injections increases, so will the number of lawsuits.

The victim alleges that she received steroid injections for lower back pain in July and September at Insight Imaging. Her lawsuit states that she began to suffer severe headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and weakness this month.

After the victim was notified that she definitely had received the tainted steroids, she was hospitalized for more than one week and diagnosed with fungal meningitis, the lawsuit states. She is still recovering, after undergoing two spinal taps as part of her treatment.

Three $10 million lawsuits were filed on Friday, following two similar suits on October 17th, one seeking $10 million and another $5 million. The smaller suit named only NECC as a defendant, while the larger suits name the NECC, as well as Insight Imaging, the clinic where the patients received the steroid injections for back pain, as defendants. The lawsuit claims the drug, methylprednisone acetate, was “defective and unreasonably dangerous.”

Due to the massive amount of people that have been affected by the meningitis outbreak due to the tainted steroid injections, patients will join a multi-district litigation (MDL) to recover money for their harms and losses. In MDL litigation, people who are suffering from the same product can each bring a separate lawsuit, consolidated into one MDL in front of one judge and one court, as opposed to conducting the same litigation several times before different judges around the country. This hearing is likely to be held scheduled for January 2013 in Orlando, Florida.

Will we continue to report updates as they become available. If you or a loved one feels that you might have been infected by the tainted injection, you may be entitled to damages. Contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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