BOSTON (CBS/AP) – The death toll in a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak linked to a Framingham pharmaceutical company has risen to 21, the CDC said on Friday.

Along with the deaths, officials identified 271 illnesses in sixteen states; Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

The update comes as a civil suit has been filed against the owners of the pharmacy.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports

The lawsuit was filed this week by former federal prosecutor Peter McGrath. The Concord, New Hampshire attorney represents five victims, including a Seacoast resident who’s been diagnosed with fungal meningitis.

The lawsuit is alleging negligence supervision and breach of contract. McGrath says he’s seeking to freeze the assets of NECC’s owners because the company’s insurance coverage may not be adequate to protect his clients.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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