Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Judge Approves Partial Fee Request, Defers Action on "Enhancement"
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
A federal bankruptcy judge has approved the undisputed portion of a multimillion dollar fee request in the case of the New England Compounding Center, but deferred action on the disputed $2.6 million balance.
In a brief order issued Wednesday U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Henry J. Boroff approved fees and expenses totaling $1.1 million for Paul D. Moore, the Boston attorney who acted as trustee in the case.
Moore had initially requested $5.758 million, but later trimmed it to $3.75 million.
In his order Boroff said he was taking the remainder of the fee request under advisement.
Moore, in an email response to questions about the order, noted that "despite having spent most of my time on this case for more than three years, I, like the victims, was the last other than them, to get paid."
"They (the victims) should understand that I have constantly reminded everyone of the need to distribute these funds as soon as possible," Moore added, noting his efforts in amassing an estimated $200 million trust fund, most of which will go to victims."
In a two hour court session in October, Thomas Sobol, who represents victims of a deadly 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak, did not dispute the $1.1 million request, but argued that Moore was not entitled to an enhancement boosting the fee to $3.75 million.
NECC has been blamed for the 2012 outbreak which sickened 778 patients, killing 76 of them. Moore served as the trustee in the bankruptcy proceedings and now holds the title of post confirmation officer.
He is a partner with the firm of Duane Morris, which already has been paid $4.3 million under a separate Boroff order.
Under a liquidation plan approved by Boroff most of the $200 million trust fund is expected to go to victims of the outbreak. The fund includes payments from the owners of NECC, insurance companies and other firms that provided services to NECC.
Moore said that prior to the deposits in the trust fund "(t)he victims had every right to consider themselves 'The Forgotten', which they have never been in my mind. "