Our meningitis injury attorneys have previously written about the outbreak of meningitis found in steroid injections used to treat pain, which sickened scores of people earlier this year. We have encouraged the victims of this negligently-prepared product to seek legal advice immediately.
Now, it appears that civil lawsuits may not be all that the makers of this dangerous and deadly product will face.
This week, the Boston Globe reported that the New England Compounding Center, a company that prepared the steroid injections containing meningitis, is under investigation by a federal grand jury. A grand jury investigation is a preliminary step used to determine whether criminal charges should be filed.
The outbreak occurred this summer and fall, leaving victims sickened nationwide. The outbreak also killed at least 36 of its victims.
The tainted steroids were particularly dangerous because they were intended for injection directly into the spines of patients. Meningitis is a bacterial infection of the membranes of the brain and/or spinal cord. By injecting the tainted materials directly into the spine, physicians inadvertently gave the bacteria access to the location in the body where it could do the most damage, and was the most dangerous. Our experienced injury and wrongful death lawyers believe that, had the steroids been intended for injection elsewhere, the outbreak would have been far smaller.
The grand jury investigation has only just begun, with subpoenas issued to employees and others working for and connected to the New England Compounding Center. Although the grand jury proceedings are closed – and secret – sources connected to the company disclosed the subpoenas to the Boston Globe.
Thus far, federal officials have declined to comment on the case. This includes the U.S. Attorney’s office, which previously raided the pharmacy and was conducting an investigation. But federal District Court Judge Dennis Saylor, the judge presiding over numerous lawsuits against the pharmacy filed in Boston, stated during a hearing this week that there “may” be a current grand jury investigation.
We are pleased to see the grand jury investigation, and hope that charges will indeed be filed against this negligent company, and perhaps its leaders. In the meantime, we urge the victims of this tragedy to continue to place pressure on those responsible by filing lawsuits seeking justice and compensation for the harm they have suffered.