Panel centralizes meningitis litigation in Mass.

A judicial panel has ruled that all suits filed against a pharmacy linked to a multi-state fungal meningitis outbreak will be heard in federal court in Massachusetts.

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)

BOSTON (AP) -- A judicial panel has ruled that all suits filed against a pharmacy linked to a multi-state fungal meningitis outbreak will be heard in federal court in Massachusetts.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ruled Tuesday that the more 120 suits filed in the case against the New England Compounding Center will be assigned to judge F. Dennis Saylor.

Some plaintiffs had requested the cases be centralized in Minnesota.

But the panel said the litigation was best centralized in Massachusetts because the NECC is headquartered there, its bankruptcy case is pending there, and the primary witnesses and evidence will likely be located there.

The fungal meningitis outbreak, discovered in Tennessee in September, has been blamed on a steroid produced by the NECC. It's sickened more than 650 and killed 46.


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