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Mich. AG seeks criminal probe of meningitis deaths

March 26, 2013

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s attorney general is seeking a criminal investigation into the deaths of 17 residents from contaminated steroids supplied by a Massachusetts pharmaceutical company.

Bill Schuette announced Tuesday that he asked the state Court of Appeals to order a multi-county grand jury probe of the New England Compounding Center. He said Michigan leads the country in patients affected by the fungal meningitis outbreak, with 259 infections and 14 deaths.

Three residents died after being treated in Indiana, so Michigan’s death toll also has been reported at 17.

A message was left with a company spokesman.

A grand jury can compel testimony under oath, while state investigators don’t have that power.

Schuette says there is probable cause to believe crimes were committed in four counties that have private clinics that administered steroids.

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