A doctor in Queens, New York was been convicted of two counts of second-degree manslaughter and many lesser charges for overprescribing painkillers to two patients who later suffered fatal overdoses and other patients who were injured. The man faced 211 counts total and was found guilty on 200 of them.
The anesthesiologist ran a pain management clinic on weekends in Queens where he saw dozens of patients each day, earning roughly $500,000 after two and a half years of illegally selling prescription pills, such as Oxycodone and Xanax.
Prosecutors said that the patients showed clear signs of addiction and that the doctor ignored warnings that he was placing lives at risks by both emergency room workers and patients’ relatives. In addition to the manslaughter counts for the death of two people under his care, the man was found guilty of reckless endangerment, criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance and falsifying records. He was convicted on six of seven reckless endangerment charges against him related to seven patients who very nearly died as a result of his prescription pills. One of the many other counts involved a drug addict who shot four people in a Long Island pharmacy while stealing narcotics.
The lawyer for the doctor argued that the doctor acted in good faith but his patients did not follow his instructions and that the patients misled him about their substance abuse problems. The judge ordered the doctor to be held without bail until his sentencing on October 20. He will face five to 15 years on each of the manslaughter counts and will likely face significant more time based on the number of victims and other counts of which he was convicted.
The criminalization of medical malpractice has been debated for a number of years and was especially prominent following accusations against pop superstar Michael Jackson’s physician. Whether involving the over prescription of medications or other types of medical negligence, identifying whether an individual has a valid medical malpractice case can be complicated and time consuming process. The medical malpractice lawyers at Lopez McHugh are experienced and ready to assist you in investigating your Philadelphia medical malpractice case or cases throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California. If you suffered a significant injury or a loved one died because of a misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or failure to diagnose, or a prescription medication error, then then you should contact a lawyer to discuss your legal options. There is no cost or obligation for the free initial consultation and your information will be kept confidential.