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Meningitis Outbreak Leads To First Lawsuit

A Minnesota woman has filed a lawsuit against the pharmacy responsible for the meningitis outbreak that has swept across 11 states. The suit filed Thursday in federal court may be the first stemming from this outbreak.

In the lawsuit, the woman claims she was informed she received contaminated shots, and should see a doctor and undergo tests. However, the results of her tests are unknown. She is seeking compensation and pushing for class-action status.

The New England Compounding Center was also at the center of a 2004 lawsuit, which claimed a man died from bacterial meningitis after receiving a shot produced by the pharmacy. The case was settled in 2007.

As of Friday, the death toll has climbed to 19, and 247 people have been infected by the contaminated steroid injections. An estimated 14,000 people are said to be at risk. Health officials are advising those at risk for the deadly infection to watch for symptoms over the next few months.

Symptoms include severe headaches, dizziness and fever, and have been appearing one to four weeks after receiving the shots. However, one illness occurred 42 days after a shot. The CDC said many of the cases have been mild, and some people have had strokes.

The compounding pharmacy behind the shots, the NECC, is currently under investigation. On Wednesday, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said that the pharmacy may have misled regulators and worked beyond the scope of its state license by selling large batches out of state like a manufacturer.

At Freidin Brown, P.A., we have experience with defective medical products and pharmacies. Please contact us for more information.

Sources: CNN, "Woman sues over meningitis outbreak," Oct. 12, 2012.

Daily Business Review, "Pharmacy settled an earlier meningitis death suit," Oct. 12, 2012.

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