Sunday, October 23, 2016
2nd NECC Defendant Seeks Access to Civil Data
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
A second defendant in the criminal case stemming from a deadly national fungal meningitis outbreak is seeking access to sealed files amassed in hundreds of civil suits filed by victims of that same 2012 medical tragedy.
Glenn Chin, who has been charged with 25 counts of second degree murder, is asking a federal judge to grant him access to a vast repository of records gathered over the past four years for victims seeking recompense for their injuries.
Magistate Judge Jennifer Boal already has granted codefendant Barry Cadden permission to access some of the same records. Like Chin Cadden faces second degree murder charges as a result of an indictment issued in late 2013.
Boal's order issued late last month gives Cadden permission to use in the criminal case those documents from the repository he already had during the time he was a defendant in the civil cases. He was dismissed as a defendant in January.
Boal's brief order notes, however, that the use will be subject to any restrictions imposed by the presiding judge in the criminal case.
It limits the access to documents placed in the repository on or before Jan. 8 of this year.
Federal prosecutors had strongly opposed Cadden's request and charged that he and his lawyers were trying to do an end run around the rules that govern federal criminal trials. They also warned that if Cadden was granted access, then all the other defendants would likely be given access.
In his motion filed late last week, Chin's lawyer Stephen Weymouth, asked to be given access to those same files that Cadden already has been authorized to utilize.
"Since the court has ordered access for Mr. Cadden, it is only fair, as argued by the U.S. Attorney. that access to those documents be permitted as to Mr. Chin," the motion states.
Cadden and Chin were among 14 persons indicted by a federal grand jury following a federal probe of the outbreak and the New England Compounding Center, the now defunct company which shipped fungus laden steroids to healthcare providers across the country.
The outbreak sickened 778 patients killing at least 77 of them.
Cadden and Chin are scheduled to go on trial early next year. The other remaining defendants face an April trial.
Chin's access motion was filed in the criminal case, but a parallel request is expected in the civil litigation.