Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Hearing to Consider Trial Date for Brentwood Outbreak Victim
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
A hearing is scheduled for tomorrow to consider a request to set an early trial date for the case of a Brentwood, Tenn. man who lost his wife and sole caretaker in a 2012 nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak.
The proposal to set a date for Wayne Reed's claims is one of several items proposed for consideration in an afternoon hearing in Boston before U.S. District Judge Rya W. Zobel.
Wayne's wife Diana died on Oct. 3, 2012 , less than two months after she began getting injections of a steroid for a chronic neck condition. The steroids injected at the Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgical Center in Nashville came from the now defunct New England Compounding Center.
State and federal regulators subsequently determined thousands of vials of fungus tainted methylprednisolone acetate were shipped to health facilities all over the country by NECC.
The latest count, court records show, list 778 patients who were stricken with fungal meningitis and other illnesses after being injected with the NECC drugs. Of those 76, including Diana Reed, died.
An early trial date for Reed has been requested because he suffers from Lou Gehrig's Disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Diana Reed was his primary caregiver.
Lawyers for Saint Thomas have argued that the case is simply not ready for trial and they charge attorneys for victims are rushing to go forward with atypical cases with especially hard-hit victims.
Also up for possible argument are lists of so-called bellwether cases that would be heard before the vast majority of cases.
Lawyers also are expected to provide Zobel with an update on the recently approved liquidation plan for NECC that is expected to provide funds to all outbreak victims based on the severity of their illnesses, age, dependents and related factors.items
Other items up for possible action include motions to enforce or quash subpoenas. Among those is a motion by the Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy to quash a subpoena. NECC was licensed by that agency.
Zobel is presiding over hundreds of civil cases which, like Reed's stem from the outbreak.