Friday, September 16, 2016
Cadden Says Civil Testimony, Data Will Clear Him of Charges
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
The lead defendant in the criminal case stemming from a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak says that evidence already gathered in a related civil case will clear him of all charges, including 25 counts of second degree murder.
In a six-page filing in U.S. District Court in Boston, Mass. Cadden's attorney said the evidence in that civil case "makes clear that he (Cadden) is not guilty of the criminal charges against him."
The filing was made in response to a charge by federal prosecutors that Cadden was attempting to do "an end run" around the rules that govern federal criminal cases.
Without access to the civil case records, Cadden's motion states, he and his lawyer will be left in an "impossible position" of having evidence of his innocence but being unable to present it.
Cadden is seeking access to and permission to use a repository of documents, deposition transcripts and thousands of page of other evidence gathered in an ongoing civil trial stemming from the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak.
The motion states that Cadden, because he was originally a defendant in that case, already has access to many of the records he is now seeking to use in his defense in the criminal case scheduled for trial on Jan. 5, 2017.
"He already has most of the information, he simply seeks permission to use it to defend himself against murder charges," the filing by attorney Michelle Peirce states.
Peirce is requesting that U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel hold a court hearing to hear arguments on the request.
"Neither he nor his counsel can 'unring the bell' and forget about or ignore the information generated during the MDL (civil case)," the filing states.
As an example of the "exculpatory evidence," the filing cites transcripts that "demonstrate the pivotal role that the New England Compounding Center's cleaning consultant, Unifirst, played in contaminating NECC's cleaning rooms, leading to Unifirst's $30.5 million settlement."
The filing disputes claims that Cadden's access to the civil case data was improper and labels as a"red herring" claims that Cadden, if his motion were approved, would have access to confidential patient information on outbreak victims.
Stating that the patient data is in a separate repository, the filing states Cadden's request "raises absolutely no issues of patient privacy."
Concluding that the charges against Cadden demonstrate "unprecedented overreaching" by prosecutors, the filing concludes that it would be "counter-intuitive and unjust" to bar Cadden from using the civil trial information.