Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Revised NECC Lawyers' Fee Motion Filed
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
A revised motion that would authorize payment of some $6.25 million in lawyers' fees and expenses by the end of the calendar year was filed today in the federal court case stemming from the deadly 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak.
Under the motion the payment of the fees and expenses would be contingent on the payment of partial claims to all or virtually all of the outbreak victims who provide needed information by a Dec. 15 deadline.
The payment of only half of the $12.5 million in fees and expenses had been suggested as a compromise by U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel during a hearing last week in her Boston, Mass. courtroom.
The fees and expenses would go to law firms who did work benefiting all of the victims of the outbreak whose claims can be verified.
According to a report filed last week payments have been approved for 462 of more than 2,000 victims. The payments represent about 50 percent of what victims can expect to receive from a fund totaling between $130 and $157 million.
The 2012 outbreak caused by fungus laden drugs shipped from a now defunct Framingham, Mass. drug compounding firm sickened some 778 patients, killing at least 77 of them.
The legal fees and victims' payments are coming from a fund amassed in the bankruptcy of NECC.
In a parallel criminal case, two NECC officials are scheduled to go on trial in early January on second degree murder and related charges. Other NECC owners and employees are scheduled for an April trial.