The preliminary hearing for two men charged in the deaths of 11 Livingston County residents resumed on Thursday.

Barry Cadden, the co-founder of New England Compounding Center, and Glenn Chin, who worked there as a pharmacist, were charged last year by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office with second degree murder. Authorities allege that the pair was primarily responsible for the lax state of the facility that allowed fungus to contaminate the steroids.

Thursday’s hearing, which was a continuation from several previous days of testimony in November, included an expert in Infection Control from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Benjamin Park testified about the efforts to determine the origin of the fungal meningitis outbreak that appeared suddenly in the fall of 2012 in Tennessee, but then just as quickly turned up in North Carolina, which he said confirmed this was not simply a local outbreak. When asked if he thought the outbreak was preventable, Park stated it was not only preventable, but should have been prevented.

Nearly a thousand people nationwide were sickened from the outbreak, with more than 100 deaths, including the 11 from Livingston County, which were connected to Michigan Pain Specialists in Genoa Township, which used the tainted steroids produced by NECC. 53rd District Court Judge Shauna Murphy is conducting the hearing, which will determine if there is enough evidence to send the case to trial. Testimony will resume today and is also set for several days next week.

Cadden and Chin remain lodged in the Livingston County Jail, following their transfer from federal prisons in Pennsylvania where they were serving sentences for a federal conviction in the outbreak. (JK)