Friday, September 16, 2016
Filings Show Net Amounts to Virginia Victims
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
Net awards to the families of two Virginia victims who died in the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak range from a little under $170,000 to a little over $470,000, according to petitions filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, Mass.
The awards along with attorneys fees, legal expenses and repayments to the federal Medicare program provide the very first public disclosure of the distribution of some $200 million set aside in a trust fund for the victims of the outbreak that sickened 778 patients across the country, killing 77 of them.
The disclosure comes as the hundreds of victims and their survivors have waited precisely four years since the outbreak became public without getting any compensation. Those include 113 patients or their survivors who were treated at a Nashville, Tenn. clinic.
A master settlement agreement of suits against that clinic is reportedly imminent, but there were no court filings on that matter as a Friday deadline passed.
The two Virginia petitions seek court approval of the distributions to the victims' families and various expenses including 40 percent in legal fees.
The disclosures are being made under the requirements of Virginia's wrongful death act.
In the first of the two cases, the beneficiaries of the victim are to be awarded $685,445.95 from a settlement with Insight Health, the facility where the victim was injected with a fungus laden steroid, methylprednisolone acetate. Another $120,176.93 will come from the bankruptcy settlement of the New England Compounding Center, the now shuttered company that produced the tainted steroid.
From that total of $805,622.88, $322,249.15 or 40 percent will go to the family attorney, J. Scott Sexton and his law firm.
Legal expenses totaled $12,037 and Medicare accepted reimbursement of $145.76 on the $249.15 it had paid for the victim's care.
The three beneficiaries, according to the filing, will be awarded $156,654.83 each.
The petition states that there may be additional awards and expenses at a later date.
In the second petition, the three beneficiaries stand to collect a total of $169,651.92 or $56,550.64 apiece. The victim died in October of 2012
The total award was $290,786.77, the petition states with $210,885.35 coming from Insight Health and $79,901.42 coming from the NECC bankruptcy. Attorneys fees total $116,314.71 and expenses were $4,801.18. The victim was not covered by the Medicare program, the filing states.
The Insight awards come from a $40 million settlement with the health firm, while the NECC bankruptcy payments come from $120 million recovered in the bankruptcy.