Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

June 26, 2013

TN clinics served with subpoena in meningitis outbreak

CROSSVILLE — Specialty Surgery Center of Crossville has been served a subpoena for records related to tainted medication from a drug compounding firm blamed for a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak.

Also served with subpoenas were St. Thomas Outpatient Neurological Center and PCA Pain Clinic, the Tennessee clinics that received medications from the New England Compounding Center.

The subpoena  requires each clinic to turn over documents in its possession that could shed light on allegations that its patients received injections of tainted medication that led to serious illness. The subpoenas seek information about contaminated methylprednisolone acetate (“MPA”) and also seek information about other potentially contaminated medications, including cardioplegic solution (used during heart surgeries) and ophthalmic (eye) solution believed to have been provided to patients in Tennessee.

The subpoena originated in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, which is overseeing the consolidation of most cases in federal and state court alleging personal injury or wrongful death as a result of the contaminated injections. The subpoena was issued by attorneys working in conjunction with a seven-member plaintiffs’ steering committee appointed by the court to initiate, coordinate and conduct all pretrial discovery of plaintiffs in all actions pending in that court. The purpose of the subpoena is to investigate facts material to ongoing proceedings in the consolidated cases in Massachusetts, and does not necessarily indicate wrongdoing on the part of the clinic. 

The Tennessee clinics were three of many clinics nationwide identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as having purchased and administered vials of contaminated MPA that were produced by New England Compounding Pharmacy, Inc., (“NECP”) of Framingham, MA. The CDC has reported 152 cases, including 79 cases of fungal meningitis infection and 15 deaths, linked to the tainted compound in the state of Tennessee alone.

The subpoenas require these clinics to produce for examination or copying, documents and communications between the clinic and NECP, including information reflecting purchasing decisions, items purchased, dates, quantities, pricing, storage of the medication and more.

According to J. Gerard Stranch IV, an attorney with Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC, this subpoena signals the next step of an ongoing investigation of the role clinics played in the distribution of contaminated medication.

“We believe the information we receive from St. Thomas Outpatient Neurological Center (and its related affiliates), PCA Pain Clinic, and Specialty Surgery Center will help us understand how the outbreak of fungal meningitis infections occurred,” Mr. Stranch said.

The outbreak of fungal meningitis infections is the worst such outbreak in U.S. history. The CDC has recorded more than 700 infections nationwide, and has not ruled out the possibility that this number will continue to grow.

As a result of the large number of actual and anticipated civil lawsuits arising from the outbreak, NECP filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United State Bankruptcy Code, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Massachusetts Dec. 21, 2012. On Feb. 12, 2013, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered the consolidation of all federal cases in the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts.

On April 9, 2013, the Hon. F. Dennis Saylor IV, presiding United States District Court Judge, appointed the plaintiffs’ steering committee, of which Thomas M. Sobol, an attorney with the firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, is lead counsel. Stranch and Mark Chalos of Lieff Cabraser Heimann and Bernstein, LLP are Tennessee-based members of the committee. Stranch is the Tennessee chair and Chalos acts as Federal/State liaison counsel. The plaintiffs’ steering committee anticipates that similar subpoenas will be served in other states affected by the outbreak in the coming days. 

1
Text Only
Area News
  • waterfest2013.jpg Get on the water this weekend

    Volunteers from the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association offer basic instruction for kayakers at the 2013 Waterfest. This year’s event is set for Saturday at Meadow Park Lake from 2 to 8 p.m. There will be activities for the whole family, with food, exhibits, kids games, live music and water activities, with TSRA instructors offering rides on canoes, kayaks and sit-on-top kayaks. There will also be pontoon tours of Meadow Park Lake from 3 to 7 p.m., offering a chance to look for wildlife. The University of Tennessee Concrete Canoe Team will be demonstrating their craft, as well, at 2:30 p.m.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Link

  • haslam 3.jpg Haslam makes stop in county

    Gov. Bill Haslam stopped by Cumberland County for breakfast Tuesday morning, encouraging everyone to get out and vote during the early voting period.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blood shortage looming

    The American Red Cross is facing a looming blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give.

    July 22, 2014

  • Judge ponders why stolen silver wasn't recovered

    A Crossville area man who entered into a sentencing agreement relating to the theft of silverware that was later sold to a local jewelry shop found himself with an unlikely ally — the judge.

    July 22, 2014

  • County OKs $89.7 million FY 2014-'15 budget

    Cumberland County's $89.7 million 2014-'15 fiscal year budget was approved during Monday evening's county commission meeting.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tennessee making strides in well-being of children

    Tennessee has made great strides in the health and well-being of children, the annual KIDS COUNT National Data Book found, rising to 36 this year. The state is among the five states with the biggest improvements in overall rankings from 2013 to 2014.

    July 22, 2014

  • 1899: Evidence points to poison in mysterious deaths

    The Nashville American reported that in January 1899, Squire Luke Stansbury, son of Rev. John Stansbury, discovered that Paris green and arsenic had been sprinkled over the hay they were feeding the cow. The evident intention was to poison the milk and, thus, poison the family. The hay was burned.

    July 22, 2014

  • Drug testing policy deferred until October

    With the start of the next school year only weeks away, the policy committee of the Cumberland County Board of Education decided to defer action on the extracurricular drug testing policy as implementation of changes would not occur before the 2015-’16 school year.

    July 21, 2014

  • camp nakanawa2.jpg Model recalls special rail service to Camp Nakanawa

    Camp Nakanawa, in the Mayland community of Cumberland County, dedicated a new, highly detailed diorama of the camp built over the past year by members of the Crossville Model Railroad Club.
    The large display is a very accurate scale model of the camp and includes a track where an HO model of the Tennessee Central Railroad delivers campers to their summer home.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Souza vows to bring public comments back for vote

    While a few public comments have been made during the last several Crossville city council meetings, the fact that some think their free speech is threatened by recent council actions has lead to discussions and letters to the editor in protest.

    July 21, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014