Wednesday, October 12, 2016
NECC Plaintiff Attorneys Seek Fee Adjustment
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
The committee representing plaintiffs' lawyers in the fungal meningitis litigation have filed a revised fee request pushing the total sought to just under $12.5 million.
In a filing Wednesday the plaintiffs' steering committee's lead attorney, Thomas Sobol, said some fees had been inadvertently omitted from the original filing. Other increases, he wrote, were the result of the law firms submitting additional documentation or a recalculation of the amount earned.
Under the proposal about 8 percent of the total in the victims compensation fund would go to the attorneys who performed work that benefited all of the hundreds of victims of the 2012 outbreak that took the lives of 77 patients and sickened about 700 others.
According to the filing, the original petition failed to include fees to two firms that did work in the litigation stemming from the outbreak. A total of $97,717 would go to US Legal Support and $23,286 would go to Discovery Litigation.
An additional $55,000, or $5,000 apiece, would go to 11 law firms already on the list of those to be reimbursed.
Two other firms, Cohen Placitella and Roth and Leader Bulso and Nolan would have their reimbursement boosted slightly under the revised petition. Cohen Placitella would get $22,286 for expenses that were not included in the original filing while Leader Bulso would have its fees increased to $333,185 and its expenses increased to a little over $77,000.
According to several published studies fees in similar cases have ranged from 4 percent to 8 percent.
According to the petition most of the firms will have their original requests reduced by slightly under 20 percent.
Calling the changes "modest," Sobol wrote that they were nonetheless necessary "to ensure a fair and equitable distribution."
The victims' fund totaling some $200 million was amassed in the bankruptcy of the New England Compounding Center, the defunct Framingham, Mass. company blamed for the outbreak.