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Suit to be filed over meningitis outbreak

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Attorneys for a Columbus woman who has developed symptoms of fungal meningitis after being treated with steroid injections are suing the drugmaker at the center of a widening outbreak blamed on tainted shots.

Nancy Compass received three steroid treatment shots in her spine for lower back pain in July and August at Wellspring Pain Solutions in Columbus. Since then, she has “experienced frequent, intermittent and migratory headaches, episodes of blurred vision and discomfort with lowering her chin to her chest,” according to the suit that attorneys said would be filed Friday in Bartholomew County.

New England Compounding Center, its pharmaceutical production companies and the company’s majority shareholders are named as defendants. The suit says federal health officials estimate that 17,676 potentially tainted vials of methylprednisolone acetate were sold to 75 hospitals in 23 states. The vials lacked an alcohol preservative, leaving patients subject to potential infection from a fungus that had not been eradicated, the suit says.

Thirty four cases of fungal menigitis tied to the shots have been reported in Indiana, and two deaths in the state have been attributed to the outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Attorney Brady Rife with McNeely Stephenson Thopy & Harrold in Shelbyville said the suit is representative of patients who received shots and have symptoms of fungal meningitis, but are in limbo because a diagnosis often cannot be immediately made. The CDC says diagnosis sometimes cannot be made until 90 days after infection.

Starr Austen & Miller LLP of Logansport also is representing Compass. The suit claims strict product liability for failure to warn and for a dangerously defective product, as well as a claim of negligence. The suit seeks unspecified damages in addition to damages for personal injuries, medical expenses, past and future suffering and emotional distress, and attorney fees.

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  1. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

  2. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  3. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  4. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  5. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

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