Michael Omidi - Meningitis Outbreak News

Omidihealth was created by Michael Omidi - co-founder of NMP (No More Poverty) this blog is dedicated to providing its readers the latest news on the meningitis outbreak.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dr. Michael Omidi on Meningitis Filed Lawsuits

50 Federal Lawsuits Have Been Filed Against NECC

It was recently announced that approximately 50 federal lawsuits have been filed against the New England Compounding Center, the compounding pharmacy that fabricated and distributed the tainted steroids. The lawsuits have been filed in nine states.

The fungal meningitis outbreak was a medical catastrophe. The sickness and death that resulted from the New England compounding pharmacy has caused the FDA to look at compounding pharmacy practices very closely, and discover that other facilities, including Ameridose, distributed tainted medications to hospitals and clinics, although no resulting sicknesses have been reported.

NECC responsible for 590 Patients

The lawsuits charge that the New England Compounding Center (NECC), through its negligence, caused the death and/or illness of 590 patients. The suits seek millions of dollars in damages for wrongful death, pain and suffering, emotional distress and lost wages.

NECC Surrenders Pharmacy License

Since the outbreak, NECC has surrendered its pharmacy licenses, recalled all products, laid off all employees. Although NECC had liability insurance, it is uncertain if the policies would cover damages of this magnitude. Because it is very likely that NECC will not have adequate funding to support the potential compensation, several of the lawsuits have included additional defendants, including the marketing firm Medical Sales Management, the sister company Ameridose, and NECC co-founders Barry Cadden and Greg Conigliaro.

It is speculated that there might be numerous lawsuits to follow, and physicians, nurses, hospitals, medical clinics and those who physically handled the drug vials might be sued. Since the contamination was so severe that it could be seen with the naked eye, anyone who was associated with the medical centers that administered the drugs could be liable for not reporting that the contents of the vials were clearly tainted.

Full Scope of Damage Could Take Years

The discovery phase—the gathering and review of evidence and depositions—could take years. Moreover, the full scope of the medical emergency might not be fully appreciated; more potential victims could yet be discovered. It was reported recently that several patients in states that have not yet recorded incidences of fungal meningitis have developed severe meningitis-like symptoms. However, these cases have not been diagnosed because doctors had not been able to find traces of fungus in the patients’ spinal fluid, although at least one of the patient’s symptoms caused sufficient alarm to necessitate antifungal medications to be prescribed.

The debilitating physical symptoms of fungal meningitis would legitimately render the patient unable to work. A patient infected with fungal meningitis would suffer from persistent headaches, nausea, backaches, blurred vision, dizziness and speech troubles. One diagnosed, a patient would have to be under constant medical supervision while the appropriate medications were administered, and recovery time can take weeks.


  1. In the aftermath of large-scale medical product injuries, it’s not uncommon
    for doctors to be drawn into the ensuing litigation. When you think back to the big medical products liability cases of the recent past — breast implant litigation, fentanyl patch litigation, defective drug and
    pharmaceutical cases — once the defects become known, physicians are generally held to be liable for using the product if there is an adverse outcome.

    I believe negligence is the most common claim used against doctors in cases of defective medications. The assertion is that the physician breached the standard of care because he or she knew or should have known that the pharmacy was not meeting applicable standards in compounding the medications. Another legal theory is that the physician should have known that certain medications should not have been compounded, but rather obtained directly from a manufacturer. The mere fact of ordering and using the medications in large quantities from
    compounding pharmacy could constitute substandard care.

    There is a great article from American Medical News on this subject. It can be read here: http://bit.ly/XSBOwI.

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