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Justices deny transfer in suit stemming from meningitis outbreak

February 20, 2017

The Indiana Court of Appeals’ ruling that some claims from those injured or family members of those who died after being injected with contaminated steroids are governed by the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act will stand after the Indiana Supreme Court declined to take the case on transfer last week.

In the November decision in Stephen W. Robertson, Commissioner, Indiana Department of Insurance, as Admin. of the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund v. Anonymous Clinic, et al., 71A03-1512-CT-2199, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that health care providers who injected the injured parties with a contaminated steroid that contributed to a widespread fungal meningitis outbreak, killing 12 Hoosiers, could be found negligent under the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act. 

The Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund maintained the claims didn’t fall under the MMA.

The Supreme Court denied transfer to 23 other cases for the week ending Feb. 17. The full list of transfer decisions can be read here

The justices took just one case on transfer, J.D.M. v. State of Indiana, 21A01-1510-JV-1804. In that case, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed in May a Fayette Circuit Court decision to require J.D.M., who was adjudicated as a juvenile delinquent for what would have been Class C felony child molestation if committed by an adult, to register as a sex offender.

J.D.M. argued that statutory requirements for sex offender registration, including a requirement that the offender be on probation and that the state prove by clear and convincing evidence that the offender is likely to reoffend, did not apply to him. But the appellate court disagreed, holding that J.D.M. was considered to be on probation and that the state had presented sufficient evidence to prove that he pose a moderate risk for re-offending. 

The justices ruled Thursday that J.D.M. is not required to register as a sex offender, noting the circumstances in his case do not satisfy the registration requirement. 

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