NewsRegionLivingston County

Victims' families stunned, disappointed when sentencing of former head of drug company is delayed

Posted at 5:42 PM, Apr 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-18 23:42:45-04

HOWELL, Mich. (WXYZ) — Loved ones of some of the Michigan residents killed by contaminated injections made at a pharmaceutical compounding company in Massachusetts were left stunned Thursday when the former head of the company asked for his sentencing to be adjourned.

Watch our full interview with Peggy Nuerenberg whose mother received the injections:

FULL INTERVIEW: Woman who lost her mother discusses sentencing postponement

Barry Cadden, former owner of the now-defunct New England Compounding Center (NECC) pleaded no contest to 11 counts of involuntary manslaughter last month. The plea involves a sentencing agreement of 10 to 15 years in prison which is to be served at the same time as Cadden's sentence in federal prison for fraud and other crimes.

Watch our 2017 report when a jury in Boston acquitted Cadden of murder charges:

Michigan Meningitis victims react to Boston jury verdict

Cadden began serving his 14.5-year federal sentence in June 2017.

Cadden's defense attorney asked for an adjournment Thursday saying it was just hours earlier that they learned that Judge Michael Hatty was no longer handling the case as he recently retired.

Now presiding over the case is Judge Matthew McGivney, who disclosed at the start of the hearing that his wife works in the civil division of the Michigan Attorney General's Office.

"I do not find any reason, under the court rules, for my disqualification," said Judge McGivney, citing other judges who've had spouses in the AG's office without issue.

But Cadden's defense attorney Gerald Gleeson said his client wanted time to discuss his concerns.

"In the abundance of caution, I'd ask the court to have that discussion in fairness to Mr. Cadden," Gleeson told the judge.

After a brief sidebar with Gleeson and the prosecutor handling the case, Judge McGivney rescheduled Cadden's sentencing to May 10.

Loved ones of the victims left the courtroom stunned.

Watch our 2016 report where we spoke with some of the victims of the tainted injections:

Mary Plettl
Mary Plettl

"He makes me sick to my stomach," said Peggy Nuerenberg whose mother, Mary Plettl, died after receiving one of the steroid injections tainted with mold at a clinic in Livingston County.

Sally Roe also died after receiving a contaminated injection. Her son, Gene Keyes, said he doesn't like the sentence that is included in the plea agreement, and he was disappointed that he was not able to read his victim impact statement in court Thursday.

"You build yourself up and now I've got to go through it again for another month. It's hard. It's hard," he said. "He put greed over people and that's a shame. He just failed as a human being."

Ken Borton and his wife have attended every hearing in Michigan for Cadden. Borton survived the tainted injections, but he's been left with permanent damage.

"I never used to stutter. And I can't remember anything," he said. "Without God's help, I wouldn't be here."

According to the Michigan AG's Office, Cadden disregarded sterility procedures in the compounding of medications and ran his business in an egregiously unsafe manner, endorsing laboratory directives that involved safety records and testing results that were often forged and fabricated.