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BRIDGETON, NJ (CBS) – Two New Jersey residents have now sued the Massachusetts pharmaceutical company deemed responsible for distributing tainted steroid injections, saying they were potentially exposed to the deadly bacteria.
In lawsuits filed by Jennifer Marko, 45, of Millville, N.J., and Brian Pennington, 45, of Vineland, N.J., the two allege that the New England Compounding Center (NECC) pharmacy produced the fungus-laced drug by failing to follow long established, standard safety practices for a compounding pharmacy.
According to documents, Marko received an injection on Sept. 19, 2012 at Premier Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Associates of Southern New Jersey, while Pennington’s injection was given at the same medical practice in Vineland on September 10, 2012.
According to their lawyer, Michael Barrett, both patients claim they are now experiencing symptoms of meningitis and fear for their lives.
Symptoms include fever, new or worsening headache, nausea, and “new neurological deficit” [consistent with deep brain stroke]. CDC recalled the contaminated NECC batch on September 26, 2012.
So far, ten people in NJ have been confirmed to have contracted fungal meningitis as a result of the steroid injections. The Federal government is reporting 15 deaths to date among the approximately 14,000 patients in 23 states, including at least 600 in New Jersey, who received the contaminated injections that were administered from hospitals to community pain treatment centers beginning in May 2012.