Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Checks Mailed to Over 1,000 Outbreak Victims
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
BOSTON, Mass- Payments from a national trust fund have been mailed to 1,011 victims of the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak, according to a report filed today in U.S. District Court.
The report which was detailed in a session before Senior U.S. District Judge Rya W. Zobel, shows that payments made thus far from the $130 million to $157 million fund total a little over $34 million.
According to the fund trustee, Lynne Riley, 1,126 claims had been submitted by a Dec. 15 deadline. Claims submitted by that date were to get payments before the end of the calendar year.
Riley reported that 225 of the 1,126 were held up even though they made the deadline because either further information was needed or required releases had not been obtained.
While 901 claims were paid before the end of the year, Riley reported an additional 110 were paid this year.
Overall Riley reported that of the 2,341 claims originally filed 1,996 have been fully or partially approved.
Riley also reported that $6.25 million has been paid to lawyers who performed work beneficial to all the victims. The payment represents one half of the total amount those lawyers are expected to eventually collect.
Those payments had been approved conditionally by Zobel provided most of the eligible victims were paid one half of their total claims by the end of 2016.
The trust fund was created under the bankruptcy of the New England Compounding Center, the now defunct firm blamed for the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak. NECC, according to state and federal regulators shipped some 17,000 vials of fungus laden methylprednisolone acetate to health care providers across the country.
Zobel's session began only an hour after a recess was called in the trial of former NECC President Barry Cadden, who is charged with racketeering and 25 counts of second degree murder, among other charges.
Riley also reported that 57 payments have been made to victims from settlements with the clinics where they were treated.
Zobel also received progress reports on still pending cases against clinics in New Jersey, Maryland and Illinois.