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October 15. 2012 9:23PM

Lawyer files suit on behalf of NH meningitis victim

The Massachusetts company believed responsible for the national outbreak of a rare form of meningitis was sued Monday by a New Hampshire lawyer who said his client was told Saturday he had tested positive for meningitis.

Concord lawyer Peter McGrath said he filed suit in Middlesex County Superior Court in Massachusetts in order to quickly attach assets connected to New England Compounding Center and its owners.

The Framingham, Mass., company is believed responsible for a national outbreak of fungal meningitis. More than 200 cases have been reported.

McGrath has also sued Exeter Hospital over issues stemming from a hepatitis C outbreak. He said he hopes to attach $4 million in property belonging to New England Compounding, as well as President Barry Cadden, chief pharmacist Lisa Cadden and Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer Greg Conigliaro.

He lists Barry Cadden and Conigliaro as principals, or owners, of the company.

McGrath said he does not believe the company’s liability insurance is significant enough to cover expected damages.

The lawsuit names the client as John Doe, a 45-year-old New Hampshire resident. McGrath said his client is very ill and lives in Seabrook. “If we gave everybody his name, ABC News would be on his doorstep tomorrow,” McGrath said.

The federal Centers for Disease Control contacted the man Saturday and told him that fungal meningitis was detected in his tests, McGrath said.

The lawyer said he has three other clients waiting for results, and one who has been told the results are negative. But he said the fungus takes so long to incubate that one client could still be susceptible to the disease.

He said he has not filed suit against the New Hampshire clinic that provided the steroid injection, the Somersworth-based PainCare.

McGrath said he will file separate suits on behalf of his other clients depending on test results and other factors. He said he did not know whether the cases warrant class-action status.

McGrath said he received no response in efforts to contact New England Compounding, so he is having a sheriff deputy serve the Caddens and Conigliaro.

mhayward@unionleader.com


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