The parents of a Tennessee 5-year-old who died last year after battling cancer are charging that drugs from the same compounding firm that has been linked to a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak contributed to their child's death.
In a 19-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, Barry and Regennia Martin of Chattanooga charge that the drugs from the New England Compounding Center played a role in the July 2012 death of their son Reese.
"Reese Martin, a minor, died as a result of -- in whole or in part -- having a recalled product put into his body," the suit charges.
According to the complaint, NECC provided drugs that were administered to the child shortly before his death, but the parents did not discover that their son's death might be linked to those drugs until Oct. 6 of last year.
The suit charges that the child was treated with "electrolyte and methocarbamol products made or compounded by NECC."
Methocarbamol, a muscle relaxant, was one of the drugs recalled by NECC after inspectors discovered fungal and bacterial contamination in some of the company's products, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The suit is the first to be filed because of drugs other than the methylprednisolone acetate produced by NECC and blamed by state and federal regulators for a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak that has led to the death of 64 patients, 16 of whom were treated in Tennessee.
Reese Martin was a patient at Children's Hospital at Erlanger in Chattanooga at the time of his death.
The suit does not name NECC as a defendant because that firm has filed for bankruptcy. The defendants include NECC's owners and affiliated companies, Ameridose LLC and Medical Sales Management.
The Martin suit is one of several to be filed at the one-year anniversary of the outbreak. The state's product and health-care liability laws require that claims be filed within one year of the time victims become aware of possible liability.
Other new suits were filed by patients who were treated with the spinal steroid at the Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgical Center.