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Roanoke lawyer named to meningitis steering panel

Roanoke lawyer Patrick T. Fennell is among seven lawyers appointed to a plaintiffs’ steering committee for combined litigation against the bankrupt drug preparation facility blamed for a deadly nationwide meningitis outbreak.

The multi-district litigation in a Massachusetts federal court is designed to process hundreds of claims of illness or death allegedly caused by a tainted steroid preparation sold by the New England Compounding Center.

Head of the mass tort litigation group at Crandall & Katt, Fennell represents 44 plaintiffs with claims of illness or death from the NECC product, according to his application for appointment to the panel.

Lawyers from three other Virginia firms with NECC claims supported Fennell for the steering committee, representing another 30 to 35 additional Virginia plaintiffs, the application states.

Fennell urged quick action to identify sources of recovery. “If the lawyers save time, there will be more for the plaintiffs at the end of the litigation,” he said in his application.

There are approximately 180 cases now pending in the multi-district litigation, Fennell said. U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV is presiding.

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