A federal judge decided to allow civil suits against the pharmacy that appears to have been the culprit behind the deadly meningitis outbreak that occurred in the United States. The judge also noted that any criminal cases against the pharmacy would have priority in terms of gathering evidence, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Over 500 people in 19 states have been infected with meningitis. If that wasn’t bad enough, 36 people have died as a result of the outbreak. How did this outbreak occur? It was linked to an injectable steroid used to treat back pain that was produced by the New England Compounding Center.
UPDATE: Watch this revealing 60 minutes story about the meningitis outbreak and how sloppy the procedures really were at the New England Compounding Center:
Defense attorneys for the pharmacy were hoping to have the judge delay the start of civil litigation until a panel of judges in Washington met to determine how to handle the roughly 70 suits filed in multiple states. The federal judge disagreed with this argument stating that he didn’t want months to go by without anything happening.
Check out this news report talking about the meningitis outbreak:
The Virginia Injury Lawyers’ Perspective
The federal judge made the right decision. The defense lawyers’ argument is essentially a delay tactic meant to give them as much time as possible to try and come up with a defense to avoid liability for this awful situation. Fortunately, the federal judge saw through this tactic and ordered civil litigation to begin sooner rather than later. This is extremely important for any type of litigation since it is easier to secure important evidence (e.g. testimony from victims and family members, physical evidence, etc.) when there hasn’t been a protracted delay with the commencement of the discovery process.
Potentially Helpful Legal Articles and/or In-Depth Legal Guides
Our firm has published multiple blogs and articles on the tragic meningitis outbreak. Take a moment to read through these materials to learn more about the legal rights victims and their families may have.
- This blog discusses the serious risk of an outbreak occurring at compounding facilities across the country.
- This blog provides general information about the meningitis outbreak and features a video from the Center for Disease Control.
Our firm also published an in-depth legal guide discussing the importance of evidence and how to best present evidence to juries. Take a moment to download the medical evidence guide here.
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