Sunday, July 23, 2017
Approval Sought for Viriginia Victim's Family
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
A federal judge is being asked to approve a settlement of nearly $1 million and approve a distribution plan to heirs in the case of a woman who died after being injected with a steroid contaminated with a deadly fungus.
In papers filed last week, the attorney for the estate of the Virginia victim of the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak reported that a $916,951.46 settlement was reached in the suit brought by the victim's granddaughter against Insight Health and related parties.
The filing seeks the final approval of the settlement by U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel.
According to the petition the law firm of Crandall and Kett will be paid $366,780 in legal fees, the federal Medicare program will get $84,386 and the Virginia Medicaid program will receive $24,458.
The remaining $416,225, after expenses and other fees, will be split among 12 beneficiaries, but the petition states that the 12 were unable to agree on a distribution plan.
As a result Zobel is being asked to hold a hearing and then make a decision on who gets what. The petition states that some of the so-called statutory beneficiaries have indicated they wish to testify at the hearing.
The petition also notes that the granddaughter who filed the suit is the executor of the estate and she was the grandmother's caretaker when the latter died in late 2013.
The case is one of hundreds stemming from the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak cause by fungus laden steroids shipped by a Massachusetts drug compounding firm. The cases were consolidated before Zobel.
Victims or their survivors also qualify for payments from a separate fund created under the bankruptcy of the New England Compounding Center, the firm that produced the tainted drugs.
According to the filing all but one of the 12 beneficiaries has been notified, but efforts to locate one son of the victim were unsuccessful. Despite extensive research, the filing states, they were unable to even determine if the son was dead or alive.