Former Kentucky Judge Believed to be First Victim of Meningitis Outbreak in Tennessee

Oct 5, 2012

Doctors in Tennessee believe the first victim of the fungal meningitis outbreak there was a Kentucky Circuit Court Judge from Albany. Judge Eddie C. Lovelace died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on September 17th at the age of 78.

The Tennessean reports that in July and August, Lovelace was given three rounds of the pain-relieving steroid injections that are thought to be the cause of a fungal meningitis outbreak. Lovelace’s wife, Joyce Lovelace, says representatives from Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center called her twice after Judge Lovelace’s death to discuss his condition, but didn’t mention the possibility of fungal meningitis playing a role.

When Judge Lovelace died, doctors told his family his death was likely caused by a stroke, which is common way for critically ill meningitis patients to die.

Lovelace lived in the Clinton County town of Albany, and had been a circuit court judge for two decades in that region.

Five people have died nationwide and at least 39 people in six states have been diagnosed with meningitis linked to contaminated drugs.