Monday, December 8, 2014

Steroid Litigation Update, August 2014

No clients of any lawyers injured by the steroid injections contaminated with fungus have received any settlements to date. It appears that there will be two sources of funds for the clients of Charfoos & Christensen. First, all of the Boston defendants (New England Compounding, Ameridose, etc.) through the Federal Bankruptcy Court in Boston, have offered insurance proceeds totaling approximately One Hundred and Ten million dollars ($110,000,000.00). It is likely that the bankruptcy court will approve this component of the settlement. If it does, all of the Boston area defendants will be released from the litigation nationally. How much each individual client receives will depend on an injury matrix that looks at factors including death; a diagnosis of fungal meningitis with abscess, and without abscess; unconfirmed spinal meningitis but suspected meningitis; and recipients of injections of steroids from contaminated lots without diagnosis. Other factors will include lengths of stay in the hospital and the age of the patient. A second pot of money may be available to Michigan victims. The insurers of the Michigan Pain Clinic in Brighton and its satellites, and the doctors of the Michigan Pain Clinic have offered a total settlement for all Michigan claims in the amount of $10.5 million dollars. For such a settlement to work 100% of the Michigan victims would have to agree to accept the terms of the settlement. It appears that the total amount of all insurance from all sources from the Michigan defendants total $15 million dollars. The $4.5 million dollar differential between the $15 million and the $10.5 million dollar offer is related to the fact that the defendants do have legal defenses after the expenditures of lots of costs and experiencing the vagaries of trial before a jury, appear to be the variables that cause the insurance companies to expect a $4.5 million dollar discount. We are a long way from the goal line. Complicating the problem is the fact that third party payers (health insurers such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross Blue Shield, etc.) have expended tens of millions of dollars on health care that they want reimbursed from the plaintiffs’ recovery pools. Negotiations are going on at the national level to see if these third party payers will waive, reduce or accept a flat percentage from each recovery, to relinquish their liens and allow the settlements to go forward. Although none of the above statements are compatible with “Fair Compensation” for the injuries the victims have sustained, this may be all there is. We will keep you advised of all developments as they occur. If you have any questions please feel free to call attorney Doug Peters at (800) 247-5974.

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