Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Settlement Financial Report Shows Limited Amount to National Victims
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
Although estimates of the reimbursement to victims of a fungal meningitis outbreak have ranged to $215 million, a recent financial report shows the amount currently available to all victims is slightly under $120 million.
The report filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court last week by Lynne Riley shows the balances in a victims' trust fund is just under $76.3 million. Another $44.2 million was reported to be in an expense fund. However, all but $500,000 of that total is going to the victims' fund, according to post confirmation officer Paul Moore.
That brings the total available to all victims under the so-called national settlement to $119.9 million.
According to the report 1,199 claims by victims from that national fund have been approved and are expected to be paid in August. Another 262 were approved at a later date, while 451 were denied in part. Denied in full were 386 claims.
Pending appeals could change those totals.
The report shows a third separate fund with a $55.5 million balance is earmarked specifically to victims who were treated at three facilities, one each in North Carolina, New Jersey and Virginia.
The $55 million is the total balance remaining after expenses from the following settlements: $3.5 million for victims treated at the Highpoint Surgery Center in North Carolina, $16 million for victims treated at the Inspira Health Network in New Jersey and $40 million for victims treated at the Insight Health facilities in Virginia.
Victims treated at other facilities will not benefit from the $55 million. Those victims, however, may benefit from previously approved settlements or possible future settlements or awards in pending litigation.
According to the report 19 of 20 claims have been approved for Highpoint victims, while 47 claims have been approved for Inspira claimants and 183 of 187 claims have been approved for Insight victims.
The nearly $120 million available to all eligible claimants may be increased depending on future tax refunds that the former owners of the New England Compounding Center have pledged to the bankruptcy settlement. Estimates of that, according to court records and interviews, could total $40 million.
That would boost the total available to all victims to about $160 million.
NECC, long since shuttered, has been blamed for the 2012 outbreak that sickened 778 patients across the country killing 77.
FUND BALANCES AS Of May 20, 2016
National Victims Fund (Tort Trust) - $76,295,793
Expense Fund - $44,182,046 ($43.6 million being transferred to tort trust)
Clinic or Providers Fund - $55,512,927