Saturday, August 2nd20.5°C
22568

Settlement calls for $100 million fund for victims of nationwide meningitis outbreak

BOSTON - A settlement filed with a federal bankruptcy judge would create a fund of more than $100 million to compensate victims of a nationwide meningitis outbreak linked to a Massachusetts pharmacy, lawyers said Tuesday.

The outbreak, blamed on a tainted steroid produced by the New England Compounding Center, sickened more than 750 people in 20 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said; 64 people died. The company surrendered its license after the 2012 outbreak, which hit Michigan, Tennessee and Indiana the hardest, and later filed for bankruptcy.

The settlement, which must be approved by Judge Henry Boroff, was reached between the owners of the company and court-appointed bankruptcy trustee Paul Moore. It calls for the company's owners to pay $50 million into the fund, with its insurers contributing another $25 million.

The agreement would allow the owners to seek $20 million in tax refunds, which also would be contributed to the fund, along with the proceeds of the proposed sale of an affiliated company, Ameridose, bringing the total of the fund to more than $100 million.

Attorney Thomas Sobol, representing victims who sued the Framingham-based compounding pharmacy, said the settlement is "another important step in a frustratingly long process to get fair compensation to hundreds of victims of the meningitis outbreak."

Sobol said he hoped the court would approve the plan by the end of the year, with distributions to victims beginning in early 2015.

"There was unimaginable human death and suffering that cannot be compensated for in money no matter how much it would be," he added.

The money would be distributed among families of those who died, those who sustained serious injuries after being injected with the steroid and other creditors. The victims developed fungal meningitis, an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, or other infections.

The settlement was filed nearly five months after lawyers reached an agreement in principal.

Moore said the objective of the negotiations was to resolve claims against the company without lengthy court proceedings, and he praised shareholders for their commitment to reaching a settlement that would benefit victims.

A group of shareholders, in a statement, acknowledged that no amount of money could adequately compensate the families.

"This will bring hope to the lives of so many victims who lost loved ones and those who still are suffering the consequences from this horrible disaster," said Anne Andrews, a California attorney who served as co-chair of a committee representing unsecured creditors of the company.

No criminal charges have been lodged in the case. The company's owners have denied wrongdoing or liability.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News




Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15215.26-115.471
S&P CDNX1000.63-0.89
DJIA16493.37-69.93
Nasdaq4352.639-17.134
S&P 5001925.15-5.52
CDN Dollar0.9158-0.0003
Gold1293.10+11.7999
Oil97.85-0.32
Lumber325.20+0.80
Natural Gas3.73-0.017

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.180.00
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.20-0.01
Cantex0.085+0.02
Anavex Life Sciences0.255-0.007
Metalex Ventures0.14+0.06
Russel Metals34.94-0.29
Copper Mountain Mining2.67-0.08
Colorado Resources0.185-0.02
ReliaBrand Inc0.15+0.05
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.035+0.005
Mission Ready Services0.155+0.005

 



22689

FEATURED Property
20103511636 Willow Cresc
4 bedrooms 3 baths
$449,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Jobs, jobs, jobs galore

On March 6, 2010 a bridge in Turku, Finland bent 56 inches (143 centimeters) due to structural failures of both piers. No one was injured. The bridge had to be demolished 4 months later. Our infrast...


The rewards of listening

Eighty percent of our success in learning from other people is based on how well we listen. Other people’s experience can be enormously helpful. With it we can often overcome time restraints and...


Take charge of your debt

Photo: Thinkstock.comWays to reduce your Debt:Make a budget and get budget counselingA basic first step for debt reduction is to prepare a budget and plan your spending. Once you have a budget, you mu...

_








Member of BC Press Council