Federal judge for meningitis outbreak lawsuits says evidence must be preserved

November 29, 2012 12:36 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The meningitis outbreak that has led to more than 30 deaths and countless other injuries brought a number of lawsuits against the New England Compounding Pharmacy (NECP), the organization allegedly responsible for the epidemic. Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported that a federal judge has deemed it satisfactory for the lawsuits to proceed and for evidence to be held intact.

NECP has previously asked the U.S. District Judge Dennis Saylor of Boston to delay the proceedings until the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation makes their decision next year. The ruling in 2013 would encompass which court would be able to hear the hundreds of cases made against the company due to the meningitis epidemic.

The judge also stated that he will consolidate the Massachusetts cases against the company and do his best "to make sure evidence is preserved." A magistrate judge will be holding hearings over the next several weeks to determine what methods should be used when checking NECP's facilities.

"We're satisfied with the ruling to coordinate these cases," Frederick Fern, attorney for New England Compounding from Harris Beach PLLC, told the source in an e-mail. "The MDL decision is not expected until sometime after January 2013. In the meantime, the parties can proceed with the preparation and service of initial disclosures."

Businesses that are selling products or services directly to consumers will have to ensure that their items and work procedures are safe and follow strict regulations set forth by the federal government. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission follows the manufacturing processes of companies in order to protect its citizens from "unreasonable risks of injury or death."

Phoenix-based companies should consult an Arizona business attorney who can help businesses further their knowledge on consumer safety regulations.

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