first Wrongful death lawsuit filed in fungal meningitis outbreak
ELKHART — A seventh lawsuit has been filed in Elkhart County against a company that distributed tainted steroid medications blamed for 28 deaths across the country.
Goshen attorney Richard W. Crowder filed a complaint Tuesday on behalf of the family of Daniel Rohrer, who was the third person in Indiana to die from fungal meningitis. Crowder believes that the case is the first wrongful death lawsuit filed in the state against the drug manufacturer that produced contaminated medications and supplied the drugs to about 75 clinics in 23 states.
In 19 states, there have been 377 cases of fungal meningitis, including 48 cases in Indiana, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The lawsuit by Rohrer’s family is against the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., and two sister companies, Ameridose LLC and Alaunus Pharmaceutical LLC. The lawsuit also names the company’s owners and officers. The family is seeking damages including but not limited to “last medical expenses, burial expenses, lost income, loss of love and services and loss of consortium and punitive damages.”
Six other people who received tainted injections in Elkhart County have also filed lawsuits connected to the multistate outbreak.
Crowder said his clients, Rohrer’s family, want to know why and how the contaminated medications were allowed to be marketed and distributed to patients.
“The Rohrer family is having a difficult time adjusting, and Daniel’s passing will be hard for the family,” Crowder said. “Daniel and Diana spent their whole life together and had been married for 43 years. Daniel and Diana had their own lawn-care business and worked together. It is going to be difficult to adapt to their life without Daniel.”