Judge Rules Plaintiffs’ Experts May Sample and Test NECC Facility for Four Days, Janet, Jenner & Suggs Attorney Says

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A federal judge ruled Dec. 10 that experts hired by victims of a meningitis outbreak linked to the New England Compounding Center may enter the facility and gather evidence for four days, said drug injury attorney Kimberly Dougherty. The order by U.S. Magistrate Jennifer Boal asks that plaintiffs, defendants and the U.S. government submit an agreed upon protocol for the inspection and testing by Dec. 14, Dougherty said.

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We plan to be in there a full four days, although our experts should be able to determine a lot from a preliminary sweep.

A judge ruled Dec.10 that experts hired by victims of a meningitis outbreak linked to the New England Compounding Center may enter the facility and gather evidence for four days, said drug injury attorney Kimberly Dougherty.

“This is a huge victory for all the plaintiffs,” said Dougherty, of the Boston office of Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC. Dougherty said the order granting victims’ access was handed down by U.S. Magistrate Judge Jennifer Boal, in Master Docket No. 12-cv-12052-FDS filed in U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts.

“We plan to be in there a full four days, although our experts should be able to determine a lot from a preliminary sweep, “said Dougherty. “We’re grateful to the judge for allowing us to get in the building sooner rather than later and secure evidence crucial to our clients’ cases,” she added. The order was issued in response to a briefing authored and argued by her on behalf of her client and will effect all those who have filed suit against NECC in Massachusetts, she said.

Specifically, the order states that plaintiffs, defendants and the U.S. government must agree on a protocol for carrying out the inspection and testing and submit it to Judge Boal no later than Dec. 14, Dougherty said.

“What we’ll be looking for is any mold, bacteria or fungus in the building itself – walls, ceilings, ductwork, roof, internal systems, etc. – that matches the mold fungus found by the Federal Food and Drug Administration in unopened vials of solutions distributed and recalled by NECC,“ Dougherty said.

Robert K. Jenner, head of the Janet, Jenner & Suggs Mass Torts Division, said Thomas Irmiter, president of Minnesota-based Forensic Building Science, Inc., will lead the plaintiffs’ inspection and testing efforts.

“We have a number of clients who allegedly have suffered severe side effects from injections formulated by NECC. By allowing us to methodically identify, collect and preserve evidence that may exist within NECC, the judge is ensuring their rights are protected,” Jenner said.

The Janet, Jenner & Suggs law firm, along with Atlanta attorney Mark Zamora, represents a South Carolina man who has filed a lawsuit alleging he received one or more steroid injections formulated by the center and now suffers serious side-effects, Jenner said. The case is 12-4385 12121, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts.

About Janet, Jenner & Suggs
Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC, represents victims of defective products, medical devices, prescription drugs and medical malpractice. Each of the firm’s principals is named in The Best Lawyers in America® and Super Lawyers®. The firm has offices in Boston (75 Arlington St., Suite 500, Boston, MA 022116, phone number (617) 933-1265); Baltimore, Maryland (Commerce Centre East, 1777 Reisterstown Road, Suite 165, Baltimore, MD 21208, phone number (410) 653-3200); Columbia, SC; and Asheville, NC. The firm accepts clients and referrals from clients and attorneys throughout the country.

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Teresa Kelly
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