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VOL. 37 | NO. 5 | Friday, February 01, 2013

Widower of meningitis victim sues clinic

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NASHVILLE (AP) — The husband of a Nashville woman who died in last year's fungal meningitis outbreak after receiving injections has sued the clinic that gave the shots.

The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/WC5foc) reported attorneys for Wayne Reed filed the lawsuit Wednesday against the Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center and its owners, including Saint Thomas Health, Saint Thomas Hospital and the Howell Allen Clinic.

The complaint also challenges caps on medical malpractice awards in a new state law and seeks $12.5 million in compensatory damages.

Reed is disabled and the lawsuit states his wife, Diana Reed, was his primary caregiver. The 56-year-old woman received three shots at the clinic, the last coming on Sept. 18. She died on Oct. 3.

A Saint Thomas Health spokeswoman said the organization does not comment on pending litigation.

The possibility of lawsuits against Saint Thomas increased with the bankruptcy filing of New England Compounding late last year. Brentwood attorney John Day said Tennessee statute allows suits against the "seller" of a defective product if the manufacturer is declared insolvent. Day said health care providers are included.

Reed's lawsuit is the first to be filed against Saint Thomas.

The physicians who referred Diana Reed to the outpatient clinic and administered the shots are not named as defendants.