Tennessee to defend tort law in meningitis lawsuit

The Tennessee attorney general is defending the state

This photo provided Oct. 9, 2012, by the Minnesota Department of Health shows shows vials of the injectable steroid product made by New England Compounding Center implicated in a fungal meningitis outbreak that were being shipped to the CDC from Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Minnesota Department of Health)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee attorney general is defending the state's tort law in a lawsuit filed by the husband of a Brentwood woman who died after getting fungal meningitis from tainted steroid injections.

The lawsuit was filed by Wayne Reed over the death of his wife, Diana, against the owners and operators of Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgical Center, which administered the shots produced by the Massachusetts-based New England Compounding Center.

The state will argue against the lawsuit's claims a Tennessee law passed in 2011 that capped damages from personal injury cases is unconstitutional during a hearing set for Friday in Nashville.

More than 700 people have gotten sick from the injections and 50 have died across the country stemming from the outbreak that was first discovered in Tennessee last fall.

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