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Meningitis Outbreak 2012

Our defective drug lawyers at Sullivan & Brill, LLP are currently investigating the legal claims that may be brought by individuals who have been injured from the nationwide outbreak of fungal spinal meningitis arising out of contaminated and recalled epidural steroid injections. As of December 6, 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting that 541 people in 19 states, including New York, have contracted meningitis and 36 people have died.

Symptoms that one may be infected with fungal meningitis include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Stiffness of the neck
  • Neurological deficits, such as confusion, dizziness, slurred speech, and discomfort from bright lights, which may be caused by deep brain stroke

These symptoms typically appear 1 to 4 weeks following the injection of the tainted drug and may be very mild at first, but if left untreated, could result in permanent neurological damage or death.

New York City Injury Attorneys

Since 2001, our dangerous drug injury lawyers at Sullivan & Brill, LLP have been helping New Yorkers obtain just compensation for injuries sustained or loved ones lost due to the 2012 Fungal Meningitis outbreak from tainted steroids. Call us now for a free consultation.

According to the CDC, the potentially contaminated injections were given starting May 21, 2012. The FDA is reporting that as many as 14,000 patients have may have been exposed to fungal meningitis from the tainted epidural steroid injections. On September 26, 2012, the apparent manufacturer of the contaminated injections, the New England Compounding Center (NECC), recalled three lots of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate (80mg/ml), the drug in the contaminated epidural steroid injections.

For a complete list and state-by-state map of the facilities that received these lots, click here.

This recall was expanded to include all products in circulation that were compounded at and distributed from NECC's facility in Framingham, Massachusetts. On October 16, 2012, criminal investigators from the FDA, CDC officials, and local police seized records from NECC's facility in Framingham, and members of Congress began seeking documents from the FDA regarding its oversight of NECC, according to the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee.

The fungal meningitis outbreak was first identified by Dr. April Pettit at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. In September 2012, she treated a patient with a rare fungal infection in her spine. This patient had recently received an epidural steroid injection. Dr. Pettit informed the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the patient's fungal meningitis and its connection to an epidural spinal injection. The CDC and the FDA were able to connect the patient's fungal meningitis with fungus from methylprednisolone compounded by NECC.

The CDC and the FDA reported that methylprednisolone acetate compounded at the NECC may contain a fungus, aspergillus fumigatus, which leads to fungal meningitis. On October 3, 2012, the New England Compounding Center ceased all production and surrendered its license to the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy. On October 4, 2012, the CDC and the FDA recommended that all healthcare professionals cease using any product produced by NECC.

Epidural steroid injections are a common treatment for many forms of neck and back pain. This treatment involves a combination of a corticosteroid with a local anesthetic pain relief medicine. Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory medicines used to relieve pain. Methylprednisolone acetate is a corticosteroid hormone used to treat pain and swelling that occurs with arthritis and other joint disorders. The New England Compounding Center compounded and sold methylprednisolone acetate to doctors and other medical providers in 23 states for epidural steroid injections.

Our team is knowledgeable about this drug recall and we are accepting clients that have contracted fungal meningitis from these contaminated injections. We expect to file lawsuits against the manufacturer and hold it accountable for the harm it has caused.

If you or a loved one has recently received epidural steroid injections and are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should immediately consult your physician and then contact our personal injury lawyers at Sullivan & Brill, LLP.

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Our firm serves clients throughout New York State, including New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Binghamton, Albany, Syracuse, and Long Island.

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