The Legal Examiner Mark The Legal Examiner Mark The Legal Examiner Mark search twitter facebook feed linkedin instagram google-plus avvo phone envelope checkmark mail-reply spinner error close
Skip to main content

NECC is getting its first lick of litigation as people begin to follow Minnesota resident Barbe Puro’s example and file fungal meningitis lawsuits.

Puro filed a class action lawsuit last Thursday on behalf of all Minnesota residents “who suffered bodily harm, emotional distress, and other personal injuries after being injected with doses of NECC’s contaminated steroid,” according to the 14-page complaint.

Puro was injected on September 17 and claims that she suffered headaches and nausea for about a week afterward. When a healthcare provider called to tell her she’d been given a contaminated shot, Puro was forced to undergo blood tests and a spinal tap.

Her complaint alleges that the compounding pharmacy breached “its duty to use reasonable care in the design and manufacture” of its product and that “the methylprednisolone acetate was defective because 1) the substance diverged from its intended design and was tainted with fungal matter” … “and 2) the design and manufacturing did not satisfy normal consumer expectations.”

Michigan resident Brenda Bansale likewise filed a class action lawsuit against NECC after being injected with the contaminated steroid on August 28 and being hospitalized for fungal meningitis on October 4.

Another Michigan resident, Lyn Laperriere, filed a federal lawsuit against NECC on Tuesday after being injected with methylprednisolone acetate on September 6 and suffering fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, and light sensitivity before being hospitalized.

Laperriere’s wife, Penny, told local reporters that doctors said her husband, who never gets sick, would have died if he hadn’t gone to the emergency room when he did.

Two New Jersey residents, Jennifer Marko and Brian Pennington, also filed lawsuits on Tuesday. Neither has a confirmed case of meningitis yet, but Pennington’s complaint states that he suffers from fevers, photosensitivity, and pain in his neck and arm. Marko’s complaint alleges that her severe headaches and slurred speech have caused pain, anxiety, and emotional distress.

Both civil suits sue NECC and the healthcare providers who administered the shots. Among other claims, Pennington’s complaint says his clinic “fail[ed] to conduct adequate testing” to determine the epidural steroid’s safety.

The widow of the first meningitis outbreak victim filed a lawsuit against NECC on Tuesday as well. Tennessee resident Colette Rybinski, whose husband, Thomas, died on September 29 after being injected on July 30, is asking for $15 million in damages. Robert and Janet Russell also seek $15 million for Mrs. Russell’s stroke, disfigurement, and permanent disability, according to

October 17, 2012, update:

Eighty-year-old Basil Proffitt of Virginia has filed a $5 million lawsuit against NECC after becoming "deathly ill," according to, when he was infected on September 12.

Related posts:

NECC News: Ohio Clinics from Akron to Zanesville that Received NECC Drugs May-October 2012

NECC News: NECC Cuts Jobs, FDA Investigates More Products

NECC News: Two More Injections Possibly Linked to Fungal Meningitis Outbreak per FDA

NECC News: Ameridose Employees Talk, Senators Ask Questions, & Candidate Gives Up Contribution

House of Representatives Wants to Speak with NECC and Woman Files First Meningitis Lawsuit

NECC Loses Ohio License and 2004 Meningitis Lawsuit Comes to Light

What Epidural Steroid Patients Need to Know about the NECC Fungal Meningitis Outbreak


  1. Gravatar for Miranda S. Miller
    Miranda S. Miller

    Hi, Jimbo:

    Thank you for reading & commenting.

    Personally, I hope that everyone who's suffered meningitis symptoms or lost a loved one due to NECC's negligence is able to recover damages to pay medical bills & funeral expenses, regardless of the type of lawsuit filed. This situation should have never happened.

  2. Gravatar for Sam

    Ok mold! How can different drugs be contaminated? Aren't laminar flow hoods used during compounding. The only conclusion you can come up with is gross negligence! Sloppy technique!

  3. Gravatar for Miranda S. Miller
    Miranda S. Miller

    Hi, Sam:

    It'll be interesting to learn what the FDA found when it raided NECC on Tuesday.

    I'm not sure if you caught my post from Monday, but pharmacists and technicians who work for Ameridose, which is owned by the gentlemen who own NECC, said the following:

    They had safety concerns about the drugs they produced;

    That concern led one pharmacist to quit her job because her co-workers were unqualified to prepare the dangerous drugs being supplied to hospitals;

    A quality control technician noticed that a product was missing labels, but as another employee told the Times, “The emphasis was always on speed, not on doing the job right. One of their favorite phrases was ‘This line is worth more than all your lives combined, so don’t stop it.’”

    Thanks for commenting!

Comments are closed.

Of Interest