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

Monday, October 07, 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.



Chattanooga State Hosts Prescription Drug Abuse Presentation On Friday

Chattanooga State’s Pharmacy Technician Program and Community Health Institute will sponsor a presentation on Tennessee’s Epidemic of Prescription Drug Abuse on Friday, at 11 a.m. in the Humanities Theatre. Angela McKinney Jones, the director of the Tennessee Office of Prevention Services within the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, will be the keynote ... (click for more)

Debra Chew: Spiritual Well-Being And Surviving Breast Cancer

I don’t look good in pink – but October is pink-out month - and it is everywhere for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  The U.S. and world awareness of this important issue for women’s health is particularly important to me, for I am the daughter of a breast cancer survivor.  This year, as so many lined up at the World’s Fair Park for the Race for the Cure, I was ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Firm Gets $1,010,000 Contract For Overseeing VW Expansion For New SUV Line

A Chattanooga firm is getting the contract for overseeing the construction work for the new SUV line at the Volkswagen plant. Officials said the EMJ Corporation has been selected for the project that will give a new surge of activity and employment at the plant at the Enterprise South Industrial Park. The work includes additions to the body shop and tech center and adding ... (click for more)

Man Airlifted To Erlanger After Early Morning Crash In Bradley County

Bradley County EMS responded to an early morning crash Thursday at 7 a.m. at the intersection of Lauderdale Memorial Highway and Walker Valley Road in Charleston. Three ambulances and an EMS supervisor responded to the scene. There were three vehicles involved and one car left the roadway.   One adult man suffered serious injuries and it was determined that he needed ... (click for more)

Chairs Cost How Much?

Many times while growing up, I would go to the store with my parents. More often than not, I would see something I wanted, and ask my parents to buy it for me. More often than not, they said no. “Why?” I asked. “Son, money doesn’t grow on trees.” That’s a phrase I’m sure many of us have heard more than once over the course of our lives. However, I have since learned that they were ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Dear Friend Luther

One sunny morning in June years ago, the renowned radio icon Luther Masingill was on his way back to the WDEF studios on South Broad Street when he stopped for a red light and noticed a young couple in a car idling next to his familiar light blue Ford pickup. “What caught my eye was a buck-toothed boy eating a banana in the back seat,” he explained in an aside to that day’s lunchtime ... (click for more)