Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Delay Sought in $12.5 Million Lawyers' Fees

By Walter F. Roche Jr.

A group of attorneys is asking a federal judge to delay the payment of $12.5 million in lawyers fees until victims of the 2012 meningitis outbreak get their first payments from a trust fund.
Two motions filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Boston, Mass. seek the payment delay and detailed periodic reports on the amount of money being distributed to outbreak victims.
"Lawyers should not be paid before victims," the motion states, citing the "inordinate delay in settlement payments."
The motions follow a request filed Monday seeking payment of the $12.5 million in so-called common benefit fees earmarked for those lawyers who performed services leading to the creation of the trust fund. That motion is set for consideration at a Dec. 8 hearing before U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel.
Noting that the original motion in support of the fees was based on the assumption that most victims would already have been paid previously, the motion cites the slow pace of payments thus far. Only 14 percent of the victims received an initial payment, according to the motion.
"Given the slow pace of benefit payments, it seems very unlikely that virtually all the claimants will have first received their first payment by the time the plaintiff steering committee's motion to disburse common benefit funds is heard during the Dec. 8 status conference," the motion states.
The motion was signed by eight attorneys: George Nolan, Daniel Clayton, Douglas Jones,
Jason Denton and Rebecca Blair from Tennessee,  J. Scott Sexton from Virginia, Douglas Small of Indiana  and J. Kyle Roby of Kentucky.
Stating that paying lawyers before victims "would be unwise for several reasons," the motion warns that doing so would offend innocent victims and undermine public confidence.
Citing the data provided thus far, the motion states that it appears the tort trustee has been paying smaller claims "before claims of those who died or were seriously injured."
According to the motion the average payment thus far was $19,780.
In addition to seeking the delay in fee payments, the motion asks the court to order Lynne Riley, the trustee of the victims fund, to file monthly reports detailing the amount distributed including a breakdown of the amount going to each category of victims.
The trust fund or national settlement fund, estimated at $130 million to $157 million, was created under the bankruptcy of the New England Compounding Center, the company blamed for the fungal meningitis outbreak that sickened 778 patients, killing at least 77 of them.
The national settlement fund is part of some $200 million in funds earmarked for victims. The additional funding comes from settlements with healthcare providers who injected patients with contaminated NECC steroids



  1. It's about time that we come first! We have been treated unfairly for so long. This is refreshing lol!

  2. Wow!! It's awesome that some lawyers still do what's fair.

  3. It would be nice if our lawyers followed suit and instead of taking 40% of our money why not give us a break and only take 30%. My lawyer is representing about 6people from my area and his firm is going to be raking in the cash.

  4. Thank you, for trying to help. Seems Riley has been ask to provide some information, as to her activities before, with that request being overlooked also. My heart is hopful that we all see some relief soon.
    My very best wishes to the injured, and those trying to help. This up and coming holiday season.

  5. Yes, the delay is killing us literally. I am sure that we can expedite this process and get people their money so that they are not losing anything else. These delays are so unnecessary and people would love to be able to get on with their lives as best as they can .

  6. God bless all the attorney's involved.