As part of the continuing fallout from allegedly contaminated steroid injections manufactured by the New England Compounding Company (“NECC”), an Alabama woman has filed a lawsuit against NECC and a local Alabama hospital in which she claims that she received contaminated steroid injections on May 10, 2012 and on July 30, 2012 during a flouro-directed lumbar epidural block using triamcinolone acetonide (an injectable steroid used to treat joint inflammation). The lawsuit was originally filed in Alabama state court but was transferred to the federal district court during early May.
The woman had received a letter from the local hospital dated October 22, 2012, advising her that it may have purchased the injectable steroid used during her procedures from NECC (NECC was one of three compounding pharmacies from which the hospital had purchased triamcinolone acetonide) . The letter went on to state, “We have removed all NECC products from our pharmacy shelves and they are no longer being used at our hospital.”
The woman alleges in her lawsuit that the triamcinolone acetonide used during her procedures was manufactured by NECC and that they were contaminated, causing her to develop meningoencephalitis (inflammation of the brain and meninges). The woman was diagnosed during her inpatient hospital stay at UAB Hospital from October 30, 2012 to November 21, 2012. Her treatment included the use of anti-fungal medication. She alleges that she suffered permanent injuries as a result, including cognitive and physical impairments that require her to have assistance with her daily activities.
The woman’s lawsuit, which seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, alleges that NECC and the local hospital negligently caused or negligently allowed her to receive contaminated steroid injections: ”Defendants negligently failed to take proper steps and precautions to assure the injectable steroid compound was not contaminated with bacteria, fungus or other deleterious agents before providing them for injections or use with patients in general and … (the woman), in particular.”
The defendants removed the woman’s lawsuit from the Alabama state court to the federal court. The defendants are seeking to have the woman’s lawsuit stayed until it can be transferred to the federal court in Massachusetts where 172 federal lawsuits that are pending against NECC have been consolidated for pre-trial matters (F. Dennis Saylor (U.S. District Judge) MDL – 2419 IN RE: New England Compounding Pharmacy, Inc., Products Liability Litigation). Complicating the status of the lawsuits filed against NECC was NECC’s filing for bankruptcy in December 2012 due to the numerous claims filed against it as a result of allegations that its products were contaminated and have led to serious injuries suffered by patients who received its products in many states in the United States.
If you or a loved one may have suffered injuries or other harms due to a contaminated steroid or other contaminated medication in Alabama or in another U.S. state, you should consult with an Alabama medical malpractice attorney or a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may help you to determine if you may file a claim for damages for your losses.
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