Friday, November 11, 2016

Prosecutor Wants All NECC Defendants to Get Civil Data

By Walter F. Roche Jr.

Federal prosecutors say that now that one defendant has been granted access to a repository of files, all the defendants in the fungal meningitis criminal case should be granted the same opportunity.
In a two-page filing this week in U.S. District Court in Boston, Mass. Assistant U.S. Attorney William Weinreb said that since the court has granted access to files in a related civil case to Barry Cadden, other defendants, including Glen Chin, should be given the same access.
Cadden and Chin are facing 25 counts of second degree murder in the criminal case stemming from the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak caused by the New England Compounding Center.
In the filing this week Weinreb noted that prosecutors had opposed giving Cadden access to the civil suit files, accusing his lawyers of trying to do an end run around the normal discovery rules in criminal cases.
Despite those objections,  U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel ruled Cadden could have access to and use the civil file repository in his defense, subject to approval of the judge presiding over the criminal case.
The files at issue were gathered in a series of civil suits filed in the aftermath of the deadly 2012 outbreak. Cadden was originally one of the defendants in that civil case but the claims against him were eventually dropped.
In his filing Weinreb noted that neither Cadden or Chin "ever contributed to the repository nor participated in the (cases's) discovery. Indeed Chin was not even a party to the suit."
"Nevertheless," the filing states, "in light of its earlier order, this court should make the same materials Cadden possesses available to the government and the other criminal defendants as well."
The prior order granting Cadden access to the civil litigation data did limit him to data collected prior to his dismissal from the civil case.
Cadden and Chin are scheduled to go on trial on Jan. 5 of next year, while the remaining defendants have an April 2017 trial date.
The 2012 outbreak was caused by fungus laden steroid drugs produced by NECC and shipped to health care providers across the country. Cadden was part owner of NECC and Chin was a supervising pharmacist.

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