Lawyer: Meningitis deaths are ‘tragic,’ but not murder

Associated Press

Boston — A defense lawyer says a former executive charged in a 2012 national meningitis outbreak did nothing to cause the deaths of patients.

Closing arguments began Thursday in the trial of Barry Cadden. The former president of the New England Compounding Center faces charges including murder.

Tainted steroids made by the company killed 64 people and sickened about 700 others in 20 states.

Michigan led the nation with 264 total cases of fungal meningitis and 19 deaths connected to the injections compounded at NECC, according to state health officials.

The prosecution said in closing that Cadden ran the company in an “extraordinarily dangerous” way that led to the deaths of 25 people.

But Cadden’s attorney said that although the outbreak is “a tragic death case,” it is “not a murder case.” He said prosecutors have not shown anything that Cadden did caused the deaths and are trying to blame Cadden for mistakes made by other employees.

The Detroit News contributed.