Hospitalized Howell woman sues pharmacy for fungal meningitis

Michigan woman falls victim to fungal meningitis outbreak, sues New England Compounding Pharmacy

DETROIT - The deadly fungal meningitis outbreak has led to a lawsuit in Metro Detroit.

There are 214 confirmed cases and 15 deaths nationwide from the illness which has been tied to tainted steroids. In Michigan, there are 46 confirmed cases and three deaths.

The first Michigan lawsuit was filed Monday by Marc Lipton of Lipton Law in Southfield, Michigan and Alyson Oliver of Oliver Law Group in Rochester.

Read: Complaint against New England Compounding Pharmacy

The suit was filed on behalf of a 46-year-old Howell woman who contracted fungal meningitis and remains hospitalized after receiving a steroid injection for back pain.

"She's a tough cookie. She really holds out. She can withstand a lot but this was just too much for her," said Robert Bansale, the victim's husband.

The woman seeks to hold the New England Compounding Pharmacy accountable for the costs she bears due to their lax procedures, and to represent all Michigan residents who have suffered economic losses as a result of the outbreak.

"The drugs are very expensive. They are very toxic. They can cause long-term damage and they have to be monitored very carefully," said Lipton. "It is going to be very costly."

Bansale is grateful his wife is on the mend. It has been a terrifying 10 days.

"I've never seen her in this much pain, through anything. Child birth ... anything in her life," Bansale said.

This is Michigan's first lawsuit against the pharmacy while others are popping up across the country. A suit was filed last week in Minnesota.

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