According to the South Bend Tribune, a number of medical malpractice lawsuits are starting to appear in the courts related to the revelation that hundreds of patients were made ill thanks to tainted steroid solutions. The suits are being filed against the company that created the contaminated solutions and the clinics that administered them.
The suits are being brought against the New England Compounding Center in Boston which manufactured the tainted solution. Also, the Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center of Northern Indiana, the South Bend Clinic, and a number of other Indiana clinics have medical malpractice suits pending against them. The New England Compounding Center appears already to be willing to settle, having agreed in principle to pay $100 million to compensate the victims. The suits against the clinics, however, are said to be just starting to get “lively.”
The basis for the lawsuits against the clinics is the allegation that they committed medical malpractice by buying steroid solutions that had not been inspected to ensure that they were sterile. The FDA has extensive regulations when such medications are bought in bulk, making them more expensive.
Insurance companies that carry malpractice insurance for the clinics are claiming that their clients did not commit medical malpractice at all, but merely “negligence” in the purchase of medical supplies. The answer to that question would determine which insurance companies and policies are involved, not to mention the size of the eventual judgments.
In the meantime, the victims of the tainted steroid solutions continue to suffer from the fungal meningitis that they contracted. According to a story on NPR, 751 people contracted the disease as a result of the injections with 64 having died.
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