There are more product liability lawsuits filed against prescription drug manufacturers than against all other industries combined. Under strict product liability laws, drug manufacturers may be held liable for ANY serious injuries or deaths caused by their products regardless of the care they took to prevent defects.

Hazardous waste presents serious problems not only to humans but to the environment as well. Environmental law matters are particularly complex, not only due to the maze of federal, state and local laws involved but also because these laws are often highly technical in nature.

Brent Cordell

Attorney at Law

Board Certified Specialist in Personal Injury Trial Law

1 844 - 8LEGAL8 (1 844 853-4258)

Meningitis Outbreaks From Contaminated Drugs

Contaminated drugs attorney 

In December 2012 the FDA and CDC identified bacterial and/or fungal contamination in unopened vials of betamethasone, cardioplegia, and triamcinolone solutions distributed and recalled from NECC.

These include bacteria known as Bacillus, and fungal species including Aspergillus tubingensis, Aspergillus fumigatus, Cladosporium and Penicillium species. Although rare, some of the identified Bacillus species can be human pathogens. Some of the fungal organisms identified, particularly Aspergillus fumigatus, are known to cause disease in humans.

Meningitis is a disease caused by the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known as the meninges, usually caused by an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis usually develops in response to bacteria or viruses, but meningitis can also be caused by physical injury, cancer, chemical reactions or certain drugs.

  • Viral Meningitis is the most common form and is usually caused by enterovirus. Enterovirus are commonly spread from person to person through fecal contamination or respiratory secretions (saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus) of an infected person. Children younger than 5 and people whose immune systems are weak are at higher risk for severe infection.
  • Bacterial Meningitis is less common but usually more severe than viral meningitis. The germs that cause bacterial meningitis can be contagious, although the bacteria are not spread by casual contact.
  • Fungal meningitis is even common than the other two infectious forms and is rare in healthy people. Persons with an impaired immune system are more likely to become infected with this form of meningitis.

The most common symptoms of meningitis are headache and neck stiffness associated with fever, confusion, vomiting and an inability to tolerate light or loud noises. Children often exhibit only nonspecific symptoms, such as irritability and drowsiness. Meningitis is usually diagnosed through a lumbar puncture in which a needle is inserted into the spinal canal to extract a sample of cerebrospinal fluid. The first treatment in acute meningitis consists of promptly administered antibiotics and sometimes antiviral drugs.

Although Meningitis infections from contaminated products are rare, they do occur.


In 2001, 11 people in Northern California developed bacterial infections from injections of the steroid betamethasone made by a compounding pharmacy.
In 2002, two people in Michigan developed bacterial meningitis from methylprednisolone and seven people became ill from fungal infections caused by contaminated methylprednisolone made by a compounding pharmacy in South Carolina.
In 2012, contaminated steroids in Florida caused 13 vision-damaging infections.
Since May 2012, contaminated steroids from the Massachusetts-based New England Compounding Center (NECC) have been documented in at least 20 states, infecting over 750 people and killing at least 64.

If you have received a steroid injection and experienced any combination of symptoms including fever, headaches, nausea, neck stiffness, dizziness, confusion and sensitivity to bright lights within one or two weeks after the injection, see your doctor right away.

Many drugs are are also associated with a risk of recurrent aseptic meningitis, including intrathecal agents used in chemotherapy), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics (trimethoprim, amoxicillin, cephalosporins, etc), cytotoxic and immunosuppressant drugs (azathioprine, cytarabine), Immunoglobulin and the OKT3 monoclonal antibody.

If you are experiencing serious side effects from NECC steroids or an injury from a defective product contact Brent M. Cordell for a free initial consultation and case evaluation. We also represent family members of those who have suffered a wrongful death due to dangerous drugs or defective products.

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