Bishop Sheds Light on NECC Compensation Delays at Massachusetts AG’s Office
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mike Bishop (MI-08) spoke on the House floor last week about the lack of NECC victims' compensation claims being processed at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, which has jurisdiction over the $40 million Bishop and his colleagues helped secure through the Department of Justice last year. More than 750 people are eligible to receive this compensation, but zero claims have been processed by their office to-date.
“Nearly one year ago, because of the work of members of this body, $40 million was made available to fund a victims’ compensation program for people who contracted fungal meningitis as a result of tainted NECC steroid injections distributed in 2012 which resulted in convictions. That money was delivered to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office nine months ago, and yet not a single claim has been paid.
“These victims – many of whom are from my district – need justice. We’re nearing the five-year mark of this terrible outbreak, and families across America need this Congress to continue to fight for them. […]
“I stand ready, willing and able to help in any way I can, but I urge officials in Massachusetts to treat this matter like the priority it truly is.”
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Bishop sent a letter to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, co-signed by 11 colleagues, but did not get a response by their May 17, 2017, deadline. The office later responded in June by saying they “have already received over 400 applications from victims and survivors” and “expect to begin processing claims in the coming weeks,” although no specific timeline was provided.
The return letter from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office can be found here.
- In October 2012, the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Mass., distributed contaminated steroid injections that were administered to patients from 23 states. After a two-year investigation, 14 individuals have been charged with 131 criminal acts, including a combined 25 counts of second degree murder in Michigan, Tennessee, Indiana, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, and North Carolina.
- Rep. Bishop, who represents Michigan’s 8th Congressional District, presides over the largest epicenter of the outbreak. A total of 15 people who received tainted steroid injections in Livingston County, Michigan, died as a result of the infection. More than 200 others were left to deal with painful, permanent side effects.
- After months of discussions with Rep. Bishop’s office, the Department of Justice announced in July 2016 it had reprogrammed $40 million specifically for victims of this case. The funds come from federal criminal fines, penalties, and forfeited bail bonds. It does not include any taxpayer dollars.
- In September 2016, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office submitted the formal application to receive these funds, which was accepted before the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30, 2016). Since the NECC was located in their state, their office has jurisdiction over processing all victims’ claims from across the country.
- Victims and families who have questions or would like to submit a claim are asked to visit this link. Disbursement amounts are determined on an individual basis, depending on payments and collections submitted in the claims process.
- Bishop Leads Letter to Mass. AG Requesting Update on NECC Victims’ Compensation” – May 9, 2017
- Bishop Confirms $40M Funding Request for NECC Victims Is Approved by DOJ” – Sept. 29, 2016
- Bishop Works with DOJ to Secure Compensation for NECC Fungal Meningitis Victims” – July 7, 2016
- Bishop Requests Meeting with Administration about Justice for Fungal Meningitis Victims” – June 9, 2016
- Bishop Comments on Administration Missing Meningitis Letter Deadline” – June 1, 2016
- Bishop Continues to Demand Justice for Victims of Meningitis Outbreak” – May 24, 2016