Federal law enforcement officials on Wednesday arrested 14 owners and employees of New England Compounding Center on several charges stemming from the deadly 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak.
The individuals are accused of second-degree murder, racketeering, criminal contempt and mail fraud in connection with the outbreak. Attorneys at Hagens, Berman, Sobol, and Shapiro are the lead counsel for the plaintiffs.
Those arrested include NECC owners Barry Cadden and Greg Conigliaro and pharmacist Glenn Chin. Cadden and Chin are charged with second-degree murder and RICO counts, including racketeering with 25 acts of second-degree murder in eight states.
“We applaud the federal government’s efforts to bring all responsible for this tragic outbreak to justice,” said Tom Sobol, the plaintiffs’ steering committee lead counsel and partner at Hagens Berman. “It is our sincere hope that the results achieved by the federal government include additional contributions to the growing victims’ compensation fund.”
Hagens Berman represents victims who were exposed to tainted epidural steroid injections manufactured by the Framingham, Mass.-based NECC that the Center for Disease Control reported was the cause of 64 deaths nationwide in 2012. Following numerous lawsuits against NECC, the company filed for bankruptcy in December 2012.
In addition to the 64 dead, the CDC also reported 751 cases of fungal meningitis stroke or serious infection in 20 states.
A proposed Chapter 11 Plan and related Disclosure Statement in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of NECC are pending approval from Massachusetts Judge Henry J. Boroff. If the plan is accepted, at least $117 million is expected to be disseminated to those that filed personal injury or wrongful death claims against NECC. The NECC owners and insurers have contributed nearly $50 million, with additional monies expected through tax refunds and the sale of a related business. Third parties are expected to contribute an additional $56.8 million.