Pritzker Hageman attorneys have filed a lawsuit against New England Compounding Center (NECC), the compounding pharmacy whose steroid injection products have been associated with the multi-state outbreak of fungal meningitis. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a woman who had an epidural steroid shot for back pain at MAPS Pain Clinic in Edina, MN, on August 1, 2012. The steroid medication used by MAPS was methylprednisolone acetate made by NECC and later recalled by the company due to possible contamination with fungus, specifically Aspergillus or Exserohilum.
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As of October 12, 2012, the CDC has identified 185 cases of fungal meningitis in 12 states, including 14 deaths, associated with injections of recalled NECC methylprednisolone acetate.
Experiencing symptoms of meningitis, including headaches and neck pain, on October 8, 2012, the Plaintiff went to the emergency room at St. Francis Hospital in Shakopee, Minnesota. While hospitalized, she received a CT scan, IV medications for pain and anxiety, and a lumbar puncture (spinal tap), a painful procedure where a large needle is placed into the subarachnoid space in the spinal canal of the low back and fluid is withdrawn from the space with the syringe.
The steroid lawsuit seeks money damages in an amount exceeding $75,000.00. This is not a class action lawsuit, nor does the lawsuit seek class status. We do not believe a class action lawsuit for injuries is an appropriate course of action for these steroid contamination cases. Our experience, and we have a lot of it, is that our clients get more money by filing as individuals instead of as part of a class. In addition, given the many clinics and insurance companies involved, it is doubtful whether a court would grant class status.
We are representing several other patients who had epidural spinal injections of methylprednisolone acetate made by New England Compounding Center. Under the law, NECC had a duty to sell steroid medication that was safe to inject into patients. Because it did not, the company should be held accountable, and civil lawsuits like the one we filed today are meant to do that.
The NECC steroids implicated in the meningitis outbreak were received by Medical Advanced Pain Specialists (MAPS) in Edina, Fridley, Shakopee and Maple Grove, and the Minnesota Surgery Center (MSC) in Edina and Maple Grove. We are looking into whether they could also be sued by epidural injection patients sickened by meningitis.