Monday, August 22, 2016

Master Settlement Agreement Offered for TN Victims

By Walter F. Roche Jr.

A master settlement agreement has been proposed for Nashville, Tenn. area victims of the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak but paperwork has apparently stalled a final settlement.
In a two-page report to a federal judge filed Monday, lawyers for victims and the Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgical Center said that while a settlement has been proposed by the plaintiff/victims, the clinic and related parties say they are awaiting further paperwork before going forward.
The report does not provide any details of the proposed settlement.
The report goes to U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel who is scheduled to hold a session on the Nashville and other plaintiffs' cases Wednesday.
As reported previously, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding several weeks ago on some 110 cases and subsequently a master settlement was proposed.
But lawyers for the Saint Thomas clinic and related parties said they were awaiting conditional payment letters before processing further. Those letters, which CMS has thus far refused to release, would disclose how much the Medicare or Medicaid program paid for an individual victim's care.
The report does state that a neutral settlement administrator has been hired and efforts are underway to develop a distribution plan if and when a final settlement is in place.
Recently Nashville attorney William Leader filed a motion requesting that Zobel set a deadline for the completion of negotiations with the Saint Thomas parties. In his motion he cited the apparent lack of progress thus far.
Leader's motion is likely to be raised in Wednesday's hearing.
Zobel already has set a Wednesday deadline for an agreement between victims' lawyers and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on how much of a separate $200 million victims' trust fund will go to reimburse the federal program for amounts it paid for the care of outbreak victims.
At a session last week the Justice Department attorney representing CMS expressed doubts about reaching a quick agreement. Zobel, however, urged both sides to do their best.
"Let's be optimistic and see what you can do," Zobel said at the close of the 45-minute session.


  1. Well for me, at least my housing battle is about to end. On October 1st I am officially, homeless, and what retirement saving I had, I have used these last , almost 4 years. Does not sound like much saved, remember, I was had just turned 57, six days prior, planned on another ten years of work at least. I enjoyed my profession . Signing off soon. Not permanently !

    1. I'm so sorry. Makes me cry when I hear another person has lost their home. We will lose ours also. Retirement is gone and no savings left. My husband turned 60 in July. He would have to work many more years to make up the financial hardship I caused by getting those injections. :(

  2. Your information continues to state there is a $200 million trust fund, what is left of it at this point in time? It seems there has been many administrative type of payments made to manage this fund. I'm still waiting for the day where all the $200 million has been sucked up and the victims will be billed for services rendered.
    Sadly enough, there will be no end to the pain and suffering of the so called survivors that remain sick and the insurance companies know this.
    And to "almost murdered", this is how I feel, you and all the others, you have been murdered, it isn't almost, some of the victims murder happened in weeks as in my families case, others murder will take years.
    Until all the 700 and sum victims die there will be no end to this.