69 Michiana area residents who received tainted steroid injections in 2012 are suing for negligence.
In this case, they are not suing the New England company that made and sold the contaminated medications, but a local clinic that bought and used those materials on patients.
“The overwhelming majority of the people in Indiana that received the contaminated injections and had the problems were OSMC patients,” said plaintiff’s attorney Douglas Small. “Because they (OSMC) had purchased the greatest bulk of product from NECC (New England Compounding Company) than anyone else did here in the state.”
An OSMC spokesperson today denied any wrongdoing and said that the “people at fault were at NECC.”
Dawn Elliott of Elkhart routinely went to the OSMC clinic on California Road for treatment of her back pain.
In July of 2012, she went there to receive a shot before leaving for a Hawaiian vacation. The vacation ended up getting cancelled.
“I couldn’t hardly walk, I couldn’t walk, I was in so much pain, I begged to die,” said Elliott.
Suddenly, the woman known for perfect attendance on the job was unable to work and in constant pain with a fungal infection in her spine. It was common for some patients to contract Meningitis.
Elliott says she received five tainted steroid shots in three months time (July, August and September of 2012) at the OSMC clinic in Elkhart. “My doctor was a good man, but you know I think they should be held accountable,” Elliott said. “You know, I mean, there was plenty of opportunity I had two, three months of injections and I’m full of this stuff, full of tainted injections before they know they were tainted.”
“Am I saying that OSMC intentionally did this? To try to harm their patients? Absolutely not. I’m sure that that’s not the case, but it’s our view that they chose a bad supplier and some due diligence would have made then recognize that that was a bad supplier,” said Douglas Small.
The suit claims that the only legitimate way to buy drugs from a compounding company is through a prescription for a particular individual. The suit claims that OSMC bought its material in bulk.
Three of the plaintiff’s listed on the lawsuit died from the tainted shots.