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Meningitis Lawsuit Nets $100M For Plaintiffs

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Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One hundred million dollars. That’s the payout for people who got meningitis from tainted steroid shots. The outbreak was linked to a pharmacy in Massachusetts that produced the steroids and sold them nationwide. Twenty-six Marylanders got sick and three died.

Christie Ileto has details of the agreement.

Payouts for victims and their families Tuesday after hundreds were injected with contaminated steroids produced by the New England Compounding Center in the nation’s worst outbreak of fungal meningitis.

Victims will share a $100 million settlement, compensation for people like Harford County’s Patricia Pugh, who exclusively revealed in a special report to WJZ how she got the tainted injection.

“My head started pounding,” she said. “My neck started getting stiff.”

Pugh is one of the 751 cases linked to the outbreak that caused 64 deaths.

Scott Shaw’s mother got a lethal dose of the tainted steroid.

“It’s a vermin of the highest order,” he said. “It’s a wicked thing.”

The settlement officially filed in bankruptcy court must be approved but victims could get payment as early as next year.

The owners of the NECC will pay more than $50 million. Their insurance companies will pay more than $25 million and the rest will come from tax rebates and the sale of a related company.

“They called me when this came out, saying the batch of steroid injections I was being injected with was the infected batch,” said Scott Amigh from Annapolis.

He underwent multiple tests after doctors thought he contracted the fungal infection. He’s hoping after victims get their cut, he, too, can get relief.

“There’s $8,000 unpaid medical bill from the spinal tap,” he said.

Attorneys say the majority of the settlement comes from the owner of the NECC’s personal assets.

A criminal investigation is still underway.

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