First Criminal Trial in Meningitis Outbreak Caused by Tainted Steroids

Monday marks the start of the first criminal trial of an executive of a Massachusetts company that made tainted steroid injections linked with a meningitis outbreak across the United States.

The Food and Drug Administration says 750 people were sickened and 76 died in the fungal meningitis outbreak attributed to steroid injections made by the New England Compounding Center in 2012, USA Today reported.

The first company official to face trial is director Barry Cadden. He is charged with 25 counts of second-degree murder in connection with deaths in seven states, along with other crimes.

Opening statements in his trial by jury are scheduled to begin Monday in federal court in Boston. If convicted on all counts, Cadden could face a life term, USA Today reported.

Thirteen other company executives and pharmacists were indicted in 2014. Federal prosecutors say the accused did not follow regulation and procedure in preparing the steroid injections, resulting in more than 10,000 tainted doses.

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