Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Judge Seeks Limits on Next NECC Trial

By Walter F. Roche Jr.

With the current trial winding up its eighth week with no end in sight, the federal judge presiding over the criminal trials stemming from the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak is moving to limit the length of the next scheduled case.
In a six-page order issued this week U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns has instructed lawyers for the defendant, Glenn Chin, and federal prosecutors to submit proposed time limits for the jury trial.
The action comes as the case against Barry J. Cadden is approaching a third month and the prosecution has yet to wrap up its side of the case.
The charges against Chin mirror those against Cadden, racketeering and 25 counts of second degree murder among other charges.
They were among 14 people connected to the New England Compounding Center indicted following a lengthy probe of the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak. Two of the 14 have pleaded guilty to lesser charges. Two others have had all charges dismissed.
Cadden was president and part owner of NECC. Chin was a supervising pharmacist.
The remaining defendants are slated to go on trial after the Chin case is completed.
In the order issued by Stearns he cited the advantages of setting such limits and noted there are precedents for such a process.
"It enables the court to efficiently manage its docket" and "improves the quality of jury comprehension," Stearns wrote.
Stearns wrote that he had additional concerns about "the phenomenon of mega-trials, that is trials, the duration of which are measured in months not days."
He also expressed concern of the effect on jurors in trials that "consume an inordinate amount of the court's time and focus."
The outbreak, caused by fungus riddled drugs shipped by NECC to health care providers across the country, sickened 778 people and killed 78 of them.


  1. I have a suggestion. Instead of a trial, just give each one an epidural injection with the contaminated steroids that they produced. Problem solved. The trial really has exposed the role that the FDA and the Massachusetts state pharmacy board played in contributing to this tragedy that should have never occurred. Charges should be filed against the FDA and Massachusetts State Pharmacy board and made to compensate the outbreak victims. Two injections in 2012 has changed my life and degraded my family's life forever, and no significant compensation. Even if Caden goes to jail he is still a millionaire and his wife and children will still be living the good life!

  2. Easy for them to shorten the trial but, we all had to wait for years as this took forever to come to a head. I agree that the FDA needs to take some responsibility for this outbreak because in reading these articles there were so many alarms going off that should have stopped this before it ever happened. These people will still be living off their millions that they should not have and should be left with nothing as so many of the victims have been left with.

  3. I often wondered why we can't go after them. Both agencies knew there were issues with this company and did nothing to shut it down. I'm facing another surgery on my back because of all this. For some of us this still hasn't ended.