Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Saint Thomas Settlement Talks Hit a Snag?
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
Settlement talks for more than a hundred Nashville, Tenn. area victims of the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak have apparently stalled and the attorney for 17 of those victims is asking a federal judge to set a quick deadline.
In a two-page motion filed today in U.S. District Court in Boston, Mass. the attorney, William Leader of Nashville, stated that the parties "have conferred in good faith to resolve or narrow the issue presented in this motion but have been unable to reach an agreement."
The victims involved in the motion were all injected with fungus laden spinal steroids at Nashville's Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgical Center. The center and related Saint Thomas entities along with the Howell Allen Clinic, also in Nashville, are defendants in the cases.
The motion asks U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel to "set an early deadline to conclude these actions."
Zobel had put the Nashville cases on hold for 90 days after getting word that settlement talks were proceeding. The 90 days runs out Aug. 22.
In a July 28 session in her court, Nashville attorney Mark Chalos reported that all parties had signed a memorandum of understanding that would settle some 110 cases.
"We remain hopeful," Chalos said during the hearing.
Leader is requesting that his motion be considered during a previously scheduled court session in Zobel's court on Aug. 24, two days after the expiration date of the existing stay.
Officials of Saint Thomas and their attorneys have declined requests for comment on the settlement talks.