The Tennessee Meningitis Litigation continues. As it does so, we have also been staying on top of litigation in surrounding states. According to information about two cases, having the cases back in the state court will give the clients involved in the lawsuits a clear advantage. According to state court rules unlike federal court rules, discovery will begin immediately which should answer some critical questions, including the amount of insurance coverage the compounding firm has. Attorneys involved in these cases including those in Tennessee have stated that the amount of insurance coverage the drug firm has will be critical in the awarding of any potential damages.
According to state and federal officials, the New England Compounding Center is responsible for distributing a spinal steroid that has resulted in thirty-six deaths including thirteen in Tennessee and sickened hundreds of other people.
In another development, lawyers for some of the plaintiffs in pending Massachusetts cases have reached a tentative agreement on an inspection of the drug compounding firm’s facilities. In a decision issued on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor 4th concluded that the issues in the two cases did not raise sufficient questions of federal law to justify a transfer to federal court. The cases were originally filed in Middlesex Superior Court but then moved to federal court at the request of the compounding firm’s lawyers. This ruling will not have any immediate impact on other cases in Tennessee that were transferred from circuit court in Nashville to the U.S. District court in Massachusetts. Different rules will apply because the cases were filed in Tennessee against a company in another state.