Meningitis outbreak: Minnesota woman sues drugs supplier

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A woman from Minnesota was the first patient to sue a pharmacy compounder which is the cause of deadly meningitis outbreak in the US. The number of patients known to have been infected by contaminated steroid shots continues to rise.

According to health authorities, as of Friday; the total number of cases resulting from the suspect injections is 185. There were already 14 patients known to have died as a result of the rare form of fungal meningitis.

The court has cited New England Compounding Centre (NECC) to which the cause of the outbreak has been traced and its role in the growing health scares.

A lawsuit was filed in Minnesota on Thursday by a woman identified as Barbe Puro who started a group action on behalf of patients who had been administered the contaminated steroid shots.

The lawsuit is seeking redress from the compounding pharmacy selling a defective and dangerously contaminated steroids, which caused plaintiff and others bodily harm, emotional distress, other personal injuries, and which made them incur medical and other expenses.

This is the first legal action lodged in the courts since cases of the rare form of fungal meningitis started to be linked to NECC last week. The fungal outbreak is said to have started from batches of contaminated methylprednisolone acetate – a steroid used to ease back pain – that were prepared by NECC and shipped to 76 clinics in 23 states between July and September.

Investigators from the Food and Drug Administration found a fungal contaminate in a sealed vial and a foreign material in another, opened container. Even with the threat, many pharmaceuticals from across the US were able to order close to 18,000 doses of the steroid. This started a nation-wide search for all those who were injected.

As of Friday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added 14 new cases to its previous tally of those infected from clinics in the 12 states which have been administering the drug to patients, health officials confirmed.

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