Thursday, February 4, 2016
Judge Sets New Criminal Trial Date in Meningitis Case
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
A federal judge has issued an order setting a Sept. 8 trial date for the defendants charged in the aftermath of the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak.
The new date moves the trial back by five months and comes following a dispute between prosecutors and defense attorneys over the review of emails seized from the computers of the New England Compounding Center, the Framingham, Mass. firm blamed for the fatal outbreak.
A federal grand jury last years charged 14 owners and employees of the firm with charges ranging from mail and wire fraud to second degree murder.
NECC shipped thousands of vials of fungus infested steroids to health facilities across the country in 2012 triggering the fungal meningitis outbreak.
Court records show some 778 patients were stricken and 76 of them died.
The new date comes as some of the victims are beginning to receive notice that they will get a share of a $200 million trust fund established in the separate NECC bankruptcy case.
Some 1,350 notices were mailed last week to victims or their lawyers whose claims have been approved. Additional notices to those whose claims are being partially approved are set to go out shortly, followed by those whose claims are being rejected.
Those whose claims have been reduced or rejected can appeal.