Meningitis Outbreak Sentencing Postponed, Leaving Victims' Families Dismayed

Sentencing of Barry Cadden, central figure in fatal meningitis outbreak, postponed, leaving victims' families dismayed over lack of accountability and justice.

Mazhar Abbas
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Meningitis Outbreak Sentencing Postponed, Leaving Victims' Families Dismayed

Meningitis Outbreak Sentencing Postponed, Leaving Victims' Families Dismayed

The sentencing of Barry Cadden, the man at the center of a fatal meningitis outbreak that affected multiple states, has been postponed by a Michigan judge, leaving victims' families dismayed. Cadden recently pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter charges related to the outbreak, which sickened over 700 people and resulted in at least 64 deaths across 20 states.

The judge who was set to impose a minimum 10-year prison sentence for Cadden's conviction has retired, and the new judge, Matthew McGivney, has inherited the case. The postponement until May 10 has upset many victims' families who were ready to give statements about their grief. "I'm very, very disappointed," said Penny Laperriere, whose husband, Lyn, died in 2012 after receiving a tainted steroid injection. "I was all set to go and give a victim impact statement. It's disrespectful to the victims."

Prosecutors had agreed to a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison for Cadden, which would run concurrently with his current 14.5-year federal sentence. This means he is unlikely to face additional time in custody for the Michigan deaths, a prospect that has dismayed some victims' families. "It's a joke," said Mike Kruzich, whose mother, Donna Kruzich, died after receiving a tainted injection.

The meningitis outbreak was traced back to contaminated steroids produced at Cadden's New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Massachusetts. Michigan is the only state to prosecute Cadden and a key employee, Glenn Chin, in connection with the deaths. Chin, who has not reached a plea deal, is still facing 11 second-degree murder charges and is serving a 10.5-year federal sentence.

Why this matters: The postponement of Cadden's sentencing highlights the ongoing legal and emotional challenges faced by victims' families in the aftermath of the deadly meningitis outbreak. The case raises questions about accountability and justice for those affected by the tainted steroids produced at the New England Compounding Center.

The judge's decision to postpone the sentencing has left many victims' families feeling disrespected and disappointed. They had prepared to give victim impact statements and express their grief, only to have the opportunity delayed. The prospect of Cadden not serving additional time for the Michigan deaths has also been met with frustration and a sense that justice has not been fully served. As the legal proceedings continue, the families of the victims are left to grapple with the lasting impact of the tragedy.

Key Takeaways

  • Sentencing of Barry Cadden, linked to fatal meningitis outbreak, postponed.
  • Cadden pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter charges, faces 10-year sentence.
  • Victims' families dismayed by postponement, wanted to give impact statements.
  • Cadden unlikely to face additional time for Michigan deaths, upsetting families.
  • Meningitis outbreak traced to contaminated steroids from Cadden's company.