Archive for Medical Negligence Lawsuit

A Mother Sues Healthcare Providers over Son’s Death

HOPE Clinic pharmacies were sued by a mother who believes doctors at the clinic over-prescribed opioid medications to her son leading to his death. In a lawsuit, Inez Lewis said her son, Timothy Jason Lewis, who died on May 4, 2017, after overdosing, was introduced to drugs through negligent doctors’ prescriptions.

Inez claims that doctors at HOPE Clinic filled prescriptions despite suspicious prescription activity that violated the West Virginia Medical Professional Liability Act. The defendants in the lawsuit include; Cross Lanes Family Pharmacy Inc., four employees of HOPE Clinic, and Poca Valu-Rite Inc.

One of HOPE Clinic owners, James Blume, was among 12 people indicted in February for purportedly operating a pill mill at the clinic. Inez Lewis filed the lawsuit in Kanawha Circuit Court on June 29 on behalf of her son’s estate. This filing came four months after physicians, owners, employees, and managers at HOPE Clinic were accused of federal charges citing distribution of illegal substances.

The HOPE clinic team were accused of distributing Schedule II controlled substances, including oxycodone, outside their legal and intended medical purposes from November 2010 to June 2015. Their trials were rescheduled to November 5 from the original April dates presided at the Beckley courthouse by U.S. District Judge, Irene Berger.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration rates all drugs on a five-tier system. Schedule I drugs have no medicinal use and are highly addictive while Schedule V drugs have low addiction capabilities, and commonly used in the treatment of common ailments. Inez Lewis said that the physicians started prescribing her son methadone and oxycodone in 2014.

Both drugs are strong painkillers but are highly addictive and quite lethal as stated in Inez’s lawsuit. None of these drugs were medically necessary for Timothy Lewis, and they contributed to his opioid addiction whose overdose ultimately caused his death. No defendant in the lawsuit reported the “suspicious prescription activity” to any federal regulatory agencies.

Timothy Houston of Brown Houston PLLC in Charleston represented Inez Lewis. The case was assigned to Judge Duke Bloom. The clinic had locations in Wytheville, Virginia and Beckley, Charleston, and Beaver in West Virginia. In February 2015, HOPE Clinic in Charleston closed down after West Virginia Office of Health Facility Licensure officers decided the clinic was risking patient lives.

Clinic’s branch in Beaver was also shut down with similar reports of narcotic auditors. The 12 defendants are faced with multiple charges including maintaining drug-involved premises, conspiracy to commit money laundering, distribution of controlled substances, and conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.
All defendants pleaded not guilty to these charges. Dr. John Pellegrini, a doctor at the Beckley HOPE Clinic is also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering. He pleaded guilty in April and faces a jail term of up to 20 years in federal prison.

According to Federal prosecutors, HOPE Clinics operated in a cash-based business set up. They never accepted insurance for compensation for medications and services offered. According to the indictment, the clinic received at least $21 million from patients in cash payments from 2012 to 2015. It is alleged that clinic owners contracted physician’s services who knew nothing about pain management.

The physicians also conducted incomplete, cursory, or no thorough medical examinations of patients on many occasions. Inez Lewis, through the lawsuit, seeks unstipulated compensation for damages. She wants compensation for emotional distress, expenses arising from her son’s care and treatment, mental anguish, funeral expenses, and the loss of her son’s advice, guidance, comfort, and companionship.

Inez also seeks court costs and attorney’s fees together with all punitive damages against the defendants.

Medical Negligence Lawsuit Filed Over Non-Sterile Spinal Injections

Belleville, IL – An injection to the back of the neck that was meant to be therapeutic turned out to be anything but. Shortly after receiving the treatment, Bill Blechinger experienced pain and paralysis which spread and developed into a serious and disabling injury for which he is seeking damages.

Plantiff-injuriesHe came under the care of St. Joseph’s Hospital on the 18th of December last year. The reason for Blechinger seeking treatment is undisclosed. Court documents associated with the legal action state that Blechinger was under the care of one Dr. Alejandro J. Alvarado in March of 2015, and that on the very next day he was admitted to the emergency room at St. Joseph’s Hospital. It was at this time that a Dr. Corprew administered the injections to Blechinger’s neck. The plaintiff’s claim states that the injection was performed under non-sterile conditions and that an infection which damaged the nervous tissues of his spinal cord developed.

According to Blechinger’s claims, the infection that resulted has had a major debilitating effect on his health and wellbeing, including substantial pain from the injury to his spine, mental anguish, and physical disfigurement. Blechinger further claims that he has been permanently disabled by the infection which resulted from a poor standard of care and which amounts to medical negligence. He seeks damages for these injuries, for lost wages and income as well as the considerable medical expenses he has incurred.

The plaintiff further asserts that his injuries and the resulting disability caused by them prevent him from engaging in normal day to day activities, self-care, and work. He and his wife, Kimberly seek a minimum award of $75,000 for damages to not only the physical health detriment visited upon Mr. Blechinger and the hardships mentioned but also for their court fees and other legal expenditures which would not have been necessary had they not needed to seek damages for their losses. Among the plaintiff’s claims is included a loss of the ability to engage in physical intimacy with his spouse, bringing further mental anguish to the couple.

The defendants in this suit include the Midwest Emergency Department Services and HSMS Medical Group Inc. The lawsuit was filed on November 18 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, Case No. 15-L-661.