Hearing Resumes Today On Murder Charges In Tainted Steroid Deaths

Testimony will continue today in a Livingston County courtroom for two men charged with second-degree murder for a fatal meningitis outbreak.

Barry Cadden, the co-founder of New England Compounding Center, and Glenn Chin, who worked there as a pharmacist, were charged earlier this year by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office in connection with 11 deaths in Livingston County. 53rd District Court Judge Shauna Murphy is conducting the hearing, which will determine if there is enough evidence to send the case to trial.

On Thursday, Dr. Carol Kauffman, an expert in infectious disease who helped to investigate the 2012 outbreak, testified about how the fungus that contaminated the NECC steroids attacked the brains of its victims. She said one particular lot of steroids dated June 29th was especially virulent. Despite defense objections, Kauffman was also allowed to note that NECC was located next to a recycling business that was owned by one of the NECC owners.

Also testifying Thursday was Dr. Edward Washabaugh, a physician with Michigan Pain Specialists in Genoa Township, who unknowingly injected patients with the tainted steroids. A total of 17 patients from the clinic died in the outbreak. They were among at least 100 people who died and nearly 1,000 others who became ill nationwide. A third witness offering testimony was renowned coroner Dr. Bader Cassin, who performed autopsies on several of the victims. He described in detail the damage caused by the contaminated drugs.

Testimony from Michigan witnesses is expected to conclude today. Hearings for out-of-state witnesses will take place next month. (JK)

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