Bishop Works with DOJ to Secure Compensation for NECC Fungal Meningitis Victims
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mike Bishop (MI-08) today announced compensation funds have been set aside by the Department of Justice for the victims and families impacted by the New England Compounding Center’s fungal meningitis outbreak of 2012.
“Every victim deserves an advocate. It’s been nearly four long years for these victims and their families, and now we’re finally getting some positive news,” said Rep. Bishop, who has been working on this issue throughout his time in Congress. “While no one can undo the pain and suffering they have endured, we can stand up, fight, and demand action. I’m grateful for the support of my colleagues in the House who have aided our efforts so far and remain hopeful that those impacted will get the much-needed help they deserve, and soon.”
Of the 778 Americans who became sick, 76 have died – including 19 in Michigan. Congressman Bishop’s district is considered the epicenter of the outbreak, where 15 people died and many others became sick after receiving the NECC’s tainted steroid injections at a clinic in Livingston County.
Over the last several months, Congressman Bishop was joined by several members of the House in pushing the administration to act, including:
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (MI-06), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA-06), Committee on House Administration Chairman Candice Miller (MI-10), Larry Bucshon, M.D. (IN-08), Dan Benishek, M.D. (MI-01), John Moolenaar (MI-04), Bill Huizenga (MI-02), Tim Walberg (MI-07), Dave Trott (MI-11), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Dan Kildee (MI-05), Jackie Walorski (IN-02), Jim Cooper (TN-05), Erik Paulsen (MN-03), Tim Murphy (PA-18), Tom Emmer (MN-06) and Diane Black (TN-06).
BACKGROUND & ABOUT THE FUNDS
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.
Earlier this week, the Department of Justice 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.
The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office has been notified of these developments so they can begin the process of applying for these funds and processing victims’ claims. Reimbursement amounts will vary depending on individual cases.
Additional information from the Department of Justice will be provided as it becomes available.