91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Hundreds of fungal meningitis patients reach $10.5 million settlement with pain clinic

Army Medicine

 A $10.5 million settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit involving a group of Michigan pain clinics and a 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak.

The outbreak started when a Massachusetts pharmacy, the New England Compounding Center, shipped out contaminated steroid shots to pain clinics across the country – including a group called the Michigan Pain Specialists, which injected the shots into hundreds of patients.

More than 260 people in Michigan were sickened, and 19 people in this state died.

Now, more than 300 patients and their survivors have reached a $10.5 million settlement with Michigan Pain Specialists, according to plaintiffs' attorney Marc Lipton. 

He says patients are also covered under a $100 million national settlement involving the Massachusetts center, which has since declared bankruptcy. But it's not clear when any of this money – or how much of it – will actually reach patients. 

On top of bankruptcy fees, court costs, attorney fees, there are also claims from Medicare and private insurers drawing out the process. 

Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.