Nearly 400 applications have been filed with a Massachusetts agency for a grant from a victims' compensation program financed with a $40 million federal allotment earmarked for victims of a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak..
A spokeswoman in the Massachusetts Attorney General's office said the applications are under review and thus far no awards have been made. The state agency is working with the U.S. Attorney's office in Boston to verify the claims.
The $40 million was set aside by the U.S. Justice Department at the request of a Michigan congressman, U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop, whose district was especially hard hit by the 2012 outbreak.
The outbreak, which sickened some 778 patients in 20 states, was caused by fungus laden compounded drugs produced by a now defunct Framingham, Mass. company. Recently Barry J. Cadden, the former president and part owner of the New England Compounding Center was cleared of second degree murders charges but was convicted on 58 counts on charges includingf racketeering and mail fraud.
The spokeswoman said the deadline for filing claims is Dec. 16 of this year. The application form is available at http://www.mass.gov/ago/public-safety/resources-for-victims/assistance-necc-victims.html
A project manager has been hired to oversee the program and additional staff are being hired, according to the spokeswoman.