The compounding pharmacy responsible for a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak in 2012 has finalized a plan to compensate families. Moldy steroid injections from the New England Compounding Center are blamed for sickening 153 Tennesseans and killing 16 people in the state.
The compounding center is putting in $50 million. Its insurance company is adding $25 million. A tax refund and sale of an affiliated company make up the rest of the $100 million.
Nashville attorney Ben Gastel, who represents the collective plaintiffs, says families are lucky to get much at all since the Massachusetts pharmacy declared bankruptcy after the outbreak.
“Not a bad number to get out of them,” Gastel says. “But certainly not enough to compensate all of the victims across the country from this tragedy.”
Even those who survived had to endure nasty side effects from anti-fungal drugs that they took for months after being diagnosed.
The victims are scattered across 20 states, but Tennessee was one of the hardest hit. Gastel says his firm is still working on other lawsuits that target Saint Thomas Hospital, which housed the pain clinic responsible for a majority of the infections.