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Santa Barbara Doctor Faces Wrongful Death Lawsuits for Overprescribing Drugs

By Renee Nordstrand on February 14, 2013

After a lengthy investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Santa Barbara Police and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, a Santa Barbara doctor was arrested last year and is facing federal charges for overprescribing pain medications.

But that could be just the beginning of the physician’s problems. The doctor, who had his medical license revoked 10 months after his arrest last year, is now facing four lawsuits — three of them for wrongful death.

The various lawsuits contend that the doctor overprescribed pain medications, which led to addiction and death. Incredibly, one suit alleges that a 24-year-old had been prescribed an average of 63 prescription pills a day in the six weeks before his death.

The doctor allegedly prescribed so many pain pills that some patients had to be taken to hospital emergency rooms shortly after visiting his office. Noozhawk reports that the doctor, who is currently out on bail and resides in Goleta, has been linked to the deaths of 11 patients. Allegedly, his activities became so over the top that some pharmacies blacklisted him and refused to fill out his prescriptions.

The lawsuits claim the doctor was negligent for his alleged zeal in prescribing pain medications. The attorney defending the doctor against the federal charges told Noozhawk that he feels his client was well within the parameters of his medical discretion when prescribing the drugs. He is not defending him in the civil litigation, but expects those cases won’t go to court until after the criminal proceedings are complete.

If you believe you’ve lost a loved, due to the negligence of another person, you have a legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you have questions about your legal options, contact the Santa Barbara wrongful death lawyers at the Law Office of Reneé J. Nordstrand at (805) 962-2022 or our Encino office at (818) 981-3530. We can also be contacted online. Your case review will be free.

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