Rise & Fall: Demolition at Gault Village and New England Compounding Company
One removes blight from an Ypsilanti Township neighborhood; the other is extending a multi-state crisis involving tainted drugs.
Here are our picks for a winner and loser from recent news:
It’s not easy to live near a large, vacant commercial space - just ask people near the former Georgetown Mall in Ann Arbor. Add blight to the mix, in the form of building damage, and suspicious activity nearby (a polite way to note prostitution and drug use) and it becomes easy to see why people who live near the former Kmart store in Ypsilanti Township cheered its recent demolition. The work came after township officials fought in court to force the building owner to act. Those steps make a big difference to anyone who lives nearby - and it’s a good reminder to municipal officials that, even if eradicating blight takes litigation, the effort can be worth it.
The Massachusetts company filed for bankruptcy in December, even as more people were diagnosed with fungal meningitis after they received contaminated injections. The company already is linked to more than three dozen deaths and more than 600 cases of the disease, affecting people in 19 states. Now litigation from victims seeking redress is stalled as the company retreats under bankruptcy protection. While the company says it wants to compensate people affected “fairly and appropriately,” this could force people seeking that compensation to turn to litigation against companies associated with NECC or hospitals - and not the source of the tainted drug.