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BOSTON -- A judge has told lawyers for victims of a deadlynational meningitis outbreak tied to a Massachusetts compoundingpharmacy that she will likely grant their request for an exhaustiveinspection and testing at the facility.

U.S. Magistrate JudgeJennifer Boal said Thursday she expects to issue an order allowinglawyers for people suing New England Compounding Center in Framinghamaccess for their inspection.

The plaintiffs allege they contractedfungal meningitis from contaminated steroid injections made by NECC.Health officials say 36 people have died and more than 500 others havebeen sickened.

AnNECC lawyer asked the judge to wait to decide on an inspection until ajudicial panel rules on whether the 12 lawsuits in Massachusetts andothers around the country will be heard by a single court.