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Bankruptcy Assistance Sought by Pharmacy Associated With Meningitis Outbreak

On Friday, the New England Compounding Center announced to the public that it needed assistance in setting up a fund that would pay the victims of the meningitis outbreak whose responsibility apparently lies with the pharmacy.

Ever since the outbreak’s start during the summer, 39 confirmed deaths and 620 sickness cases have been reported owing to the steroid injections from the New England Compounding Center that were contaminated. As the pharmacy makes an effort to set up the fund, the Chapter 11 filing in US Bankruptcy Court protects the pharmacy from the potential threat of creditor lawsuits. While 270 people have claimed to be injured in some way by the contaminated drug, the company’s filing revealed that about 130 lawsuits have already been filed against the drug producing company.

Furthermore, the filing reported a rapid increase in the number of demands and lawsuits on a daily basis. The necessity of opening the case also comes because of the geographic distribution and volume of cases all contributing towards orders and remedies that are conflicting, chaotic and destructive.

On a more forward looking note, Keith D. Lowey, the accountant from MA based NECC, will be responsible for setting up the assistance fund for the victims. According to the filing, the company aims to bring forth a better, faster and less expensive method for payouts to the creditors that cannot be achieved through the typical gradual litigation. Lowey stated his concern for the victims of the tragedy in United States saying that it is impossible to understand the pain that the families must be going through at this time and every person linked to the company shares the sense of grief that the families are going through.

After having a conversation with the lawyers of NECC, attorney Kimberly Dougherty said that the lawyers of the company are hopeful that they will be able to do the right thing for the victims. Dougherty is currently representing almost 30 plaintiffs of this particular case; she was of the opinion that if the lawyers of NECC stick to their promise, the issue can be resolved easily and within a short period of time.

The main issue is that NECC has already indicated that they do not have enough funds to compensate the victims entirely i.e. to the amount of damage and injuries that the people have suffered. However, over time the pharmacy has also found a couple of other parties that might have played their part in causing the suffering of the victims. These parties might prevent the pharmacy from filing a bankruptcy at this point in time. Dougherty stated that it is still too early to name any parties and that over time, everything will be revealed in public.

The lining of brain and spinal cord can be inflamed leading to Meningitis; the fungal Meningitis was discovered in the early months of September in Tennessee. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that the deaths related to Meningitis can be dated to the month of July.

Around 14,000 people were given shots of this steroid mainly to deal with back ache related problems. However, by mid October, the company rolled back all the supplies of the steroid and ceased its production as well. In the same month, the license of the pharmacy was also canceled by Massachusetts after one of the inspection teams found unsterilized conditions in the company’s laboratory in Framingham.

The company has been charged with mass distribution of the medicine rather than producing the steroid as a prescription drug. NECC is currently working to restore the confidence of its customers by trying to compensate the victims.

Have You:

Been paying credit card balances that seem to never go down?

Lost your job and are now having trouble keeping up?

Attempted to work out a payment arrangement to no avail?

Been notified of a mortgage foreclosure action?

Been denied for a mortgage or other line of credit?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes” then bankruptcy may be an option that you should consider.

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