Meningitis Patient Sues New England Pharmacy - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Meningitis Patient Sues New England Pharmacy

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by Emily Luxen

NASHVILLE, Tenn.-- A Hendersonville woman battling fungal meningitis is the first Tennessean to sue the pharmacy that supplied the drug.

On Monday, Janet Russell and her husband, Robert Russell, sued the New England Compounding Center for $15 million. The suit filed in Davidson County Circuit Court claims the pharmacy allowed the steroid to be contaminated by fungi through negligence.


Her attorney, Randall Kinnard, said Janet Russell received a tainted epidural steroid shot at the Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgical Center on August 30th.  She was hospitalized about a month later, and is currently in the ICU at Saint Thomas.  He said she has been unable to speak, and suffered from a stroke.  He said the entire ordeal has taken a toll on her family.

"The thing that they're looking for is to have someone held responsible and accountable for what happened," said Kinnard, "hopefully this kind of lawsuit will prevent this from happening to other people."

Kinnard said this lawsuit is the first of about a dozen he plans to file on behalf of meningitis victims.

"Somebody has to take a step to get some answers from this compounding center in Massachusetts," said Kinnard.

A spokesman for the New England Compounding Center, in an email, said the company had no comment on the suit.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fungal meningitis has sickened 212 people in 15 states. So far 15 people have died, including six in Tennessee.

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