2 defendants in meningitis outbreak case seek bail

Philip Marcelo
Associated Press

Boston — Two Massachusetts men charged with second-degree murder under federal racketeering law for their roles in a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people, including 19 in Michigan, are seeking to be released on bail.

Barry Cadden, co-founder of the now-shuttered New England Compounding Center in Framingham, and Glenn Chin, the company’s supervisory pharmacist, appeared in court Thursday. They were among 14 people charged Wednesday.

Cadden and Chin face the most serious charges, accused in the racketeering indictment of second-degree murder by causing the deaths of 25 patients in seven states — eight of them in Michigan — by acting with “wanton and willful disregard” of the risks.

The co-founders, pharmacists and other workers are charged with using expired ingredients and failing to follow cleanliness standards, resulting in tainted back pain injections. More than 750 people in 20 states fell ill and 64 died.

Authorities call it the largest U.S. criminal case ever brought over contaminated medicine.

Last year, Michigan and federal officials announced a joint criminal investigation into the outbreak.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said he could not comment on the ongoing state-level investigation but it would be “exhaustive.” He also said he could not comment on civil cases related to the outbreak.