Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

December 28, 2013

Area attorney applauds fund for meningitis victims


The Traverse City law firm filed lawsuits on behalf of its clients against teh steroid maker and affiliated companies. It recently filed a lawsuit against Neuromuscular and Rehabilitation Associates of Northern Michigan, where tainted steroid medicine unknowingly was injected into patients.

The steroid medicine is a compound drug, a category not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Michigan law requires compound drugs to be purchased, packaged, dispensed and labeled for a specific individual. But the steroid maker acted outside its license by producing and distributing the steroid drug in bulk, Dancer said.

“(Neuromuscular and Rehabilitation) is not the worst offender here,” Myers said. “The company in Massachusetts did the most harm. But I do think there were failures all along the chain. People weren’t doing their due diligence without bothering to look too hard. Unfortunately, this is what happens.”

Tim Dardas, an East Lansing attorney who represents Neuromuscular and Rehabilitation, said he’ll provide a response in court.

“I think we’re in a good position to do that at that time,” Dardas said.

Baldiga said the victims’ fund agreement needs a bankruptcy judge’s approval and likely will be filed in the next few weeks.

A federal investigation of the company started more than a year ago but hasn’t resulted in any criminal charges. The company’s owners said in a press release announcing the settlement that they deny any liability or wrongdoing but want to play a major role in establishing a fund for people who died or suffered.

The initial $100 million will come from cash contributions by company owners and proceeds from insurance, tax refunds and the sale of a related business.

Baldiga called it “an important step, but a first step only.”

The ASSOCIATED PRESS contributed to this report.



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