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Meningitis outbreak: Minnesota woman files 1st lawsuit

A vial of the steroid, Depo-Medrol, is shown in this undated file photo. The drug is at the center of a fungal meningitis outbreak.

October 12, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A first lawsuit has been filed in connection with a meningitis outbreak that's killed 14 people.

At least 170 others were sickened after getting contaminated steroid injections blamed for the nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak.

The Minnesota woman who filed suit alleges she suffered headaches and nausea after receiving shots to ease chronic back pain. However, she has not been diagnosed with the rare illness. Barbe Puro underwent a painful spinal tap to test for the illness over the weekend, said her attorney. Results are pending.

Massachusetts-based pharmacy New England Compounding Center has recalled the steroid that was sent to clinics in 23 states. No illnesses have been reported in California.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from the company for Puno's injuries, along with class-action status to cover other people who were injured after receiving the potentially tainted medication in Minnesota.

Federal health officials have tracked down 12,000 of the roughly 14,000 people who may have received contaminated shots. Doctors are warning that patients will need to keep watch for symptoms of the deadly infection for months.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.