It will likely take years for federal and state lawsuits over a meningitis outbreak tied to the New England Compounding Center to make their way through federal and state courts. "Most of the time what happens is once they are consolidated for pretrial proceedings, there is a settlement, a global settlement between all the lawyers and the defendants before anything is shipped back for trial," Vanderbilt University law professor Brian Fitzpatrick said. "The chance of recovering damages from NECC is extremely low," which means attention will turn to clinics and providers who gave the shots, said John Day, an attorney in several of the suits.

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