Chattanooga Couple Sues Compounding Firm Over Death Of 5-Year-Old Son, Reese Martin

Monday, October 7, 2013
Reese Martin
Reese Martin

A Chattanooga couple has sued a New England compounding firm over the death of their five-year-old son, Reese Martin.

Barry and Reginnia Martin filed the suit in Federal Court in Knoxville against Ameridose, LLC, Medical Sales Management, Medical Sales Management SW, GDC Properties Management, Barry Cadden, Gregory Conigliaro, Lisa Conigliaro Cadden, Douglas Conigliaro, Carla Conigliaro and Glenn Chin.

The suit says beginning in July 2012, Reese Martin received electrolyte and methocarbamol products made by New England Compounding Pharmacy (NECP). Ameridose owns NECP and the individual defendants are involved in its management.  

The complaint says the child died as a result - in whole or in part - from the effects of the compound administered while he was a patient at Children's Hospital at Erlanger.

It says on Sept. 26, 2012, "in the wake of dozens of cases of fungal meningitis associated with NECC’s products, state agents raided NECC’s lab on Waverly Street in Framingham, Massachusetts. NECC’s few remaining employees were scrubbing the compounding areas with bleach. Despite this last-ditch effort, the “clean” rooms were filthy. A leaky boiler stood in a pool of stagnant, dirty water. The autoclaves used to sterilize the product were discolored, tarnished, and contained visible moisture. The air intake came from vents located about 100 feet from a mattress recycling facility that released copious amounts of dust and other contaminants into the air. The air vents in the “clean” rooms were covered with dirt and white fuzz. The metal shelf in the “clean” room used to prepare methylprednisolone acetate, as well as other products, was covered in a reddish-brown, cloudy substance.

"Investigators determined that NECC’s internal records showed dozens of instances of bacterial and fungal contamination within the NECC facility over at least the past nine months. NECC ignored these test results. NECC never even attempted to get rid of these microbial contaminants.
48. Eighty-three out of three hundred twenty-one observed vials from one of three recalled lots of MPA contained a greenish-black substance visible to the human eye. Seventeen other vials contained a white filamentous material. All fifty out of fifty vials tested confirmed the presence of live microbes (whether fungal or bacterial). The CDC and FDA later confirmed the presence of fungus in unopened vials of NECC’s methylprednisolone acetate. This is the same fungus that the CDC confirmed was present in at least forty fungal meningitis cases. The recall was then expanded. On October 6, 2012, New England Compounding Pharmacy, Inc. d/b/a New England Compounding Center (NECC) announced a recall of all products currently in circulation that were compounded at and distributed from its facility in Framingham, Massachusetts."

The couple said they did not learn until Oct. 6, 2012, "that their son’s death may be linked to the products sold by NECC."

The suit was filed by attorney Christopher Gilreath.

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