NASHVILLE, Tenn. - As the number of cases and deaths continue to rise with the meningitis outbreak, legal experts said they expect lawsuits to follow.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the count on Monday, saying 105 cases in a deadly meningitis outbreak had been reported nationwide, with eight deaths. In Tennessee, health officials said the number of cases increased by three to 35, with four deaths.
Over the weekend, the Bart Durham law office started advertising to potential clients affected by the outbreak.
"There will most certainly be lawsuits and they will be brought by those closest in kinship; husband, wife and so forth of the person(s) that passed away," said Gary Blackburn, a Nashville Attorney.
Blackburn said while the number of potential lawsuits is unknown, the suits filed are expected to be widespread.
"It is probable it will wind up in federal court, because you have the compounder being in Massachusetts and victims in another state," said Blackburn. "If the Massachusetts company files a bankruptcy petition and tried to get all these handled through a bankruptcy court, that happens sometimes and you might have to deal with class action lawsuits. Most people would be better off to have their own claim right now with one lawyer."
Recently Bart Durham Law Firm started airing commercial geared towards victims and their families.
Blair Durham said in one day they have received four calls and they expect that number to continue to rise.
"The process is a long one. There are a lot of legal minefields out there in this type of law, but this is something we can help with," said Durham.
Currently no lawsuit has been filed, but many law offices said they have been contacted about legal rights during the fungal meningitis outbreak.