Federal Jury Finds McDermott Client Not Guilty on All Counts
BOSTON – A jury in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts found McDermott Will & Emery pro bono client Joseph Matthew “Matt” Evanosky not guilty on all counts in a trial stemming from his work at the New England Compounding Center (NECC). Evanosky was tried alongside five co-defendants and was the only one to be fully acquitted after seven weeks of testimony.
“We are very pleased with the jury’s verdict as to our client,” said lead McDermott litigator Mark Pearlstein. “Mr. Evanosky never should have been charged with any crimes, and now that he is finally exonerated he can move forward with his life.”
NECC, a compounding pharmacy in Framingham, Massachusetts, was thrust into the national spotlight, shuttered and investigated by state and federal authorities in connection with a fungal meningitis outbreak in the fall of 2012. In 2014, four of the company’s former owners and ten former employees were charged with a range of federal crimes tied to their involvement with or work at the company. Only the company’s former president/pharmacist in charge and supervising pharmacist, who were tried separately in 2017, were charged with crimes directly related to the outbreak. The remaining 12 defendants were charged with other violations. Evanosky, who began working as a staff pharmacist at NECC in the spring of 2011, was charged with racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, four counts of mail fraud and two Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act violations. Neither Evanosky nor any of his five co-defendants in this fall’s trial were accused of having anything to do with the drug that harmed patients in the outbreak, or of any patient harm whatsoever.
Evanosky had no experience with sterile compounding before joining NECC and previously worked as a retail pharmacist in Connecticut. He was hired as a salaried employee and trained by NECC to perform specific, discrete compounding duties within its clean room. Until the outbreak, he was not aware of problems at the nearly 15-year-old, seemingly successful company. He had no contact with customers and no awareness of and involvement in the company’s sales and marketing.
In 2015, US District Judge Richard G. Stearns appointed a team from McDermott to represent Evanosky, anticipating a long and complex trial and recognizing Evanosky’s need for counsel. McDermott took the case pro bono. The team included litigators Mark Pearlstein, Dana McSherry and Jennifer Aronoff, along with support from many other lawyers and staff members at the firm.
“One of the best experiences you can have as an attorney is watching your innocent client be set free from the weight of criminal charges,” said Pearlstein. “Hearing Judge Stearns tell Matt that he was free to go was a moment that we will always treasure. As lawyers, it does not get better than this.”
The full case caption in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts is United States v. Cadden, et al. (14-cr-10363).
About McDermott Will & Emery
McDermott Will & Emery is a premier international law firm with a diversified business practice. Numbering more than 1,000 lawyers, we have offices in Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Dallas, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Seoul, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Washington, DC. Further extending our reach into Asia, we have a strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices in Shanghai.