According to the recent ruling of West Virginia Supreme Court pharmacies and doctors who negligently prescribed pain medication can be sued for enabling people’s addictions.
According to court documents, FBI raided and shut down the Mountain Medical Center in Williamson in 2010 and found evidence of improperly prescribed controlled substances involving 29 people who became addicted while were Center’s patients looking for a treatment in connection to job-related injuries or injuries stemming from car accidents.
The plaintiffs had filed eight separate lawsuits against three pharmacies and Medical Center and four of its physicians.
After the FBI raid, one of the doctors was accused of recklessly and illegally issuing hundreds of thousands of prescriptions for pain medications from the clinic; however, the doctor never faced criminal charges and now lives in the Bahamas.
Other clinic physicians involved and office manager were sentenced to six months in federal prison for their guilty pleas to conspiring to misuse a Drug Enforcement Administration registration number. The clinic now belongs to the West Virginia State Police, along with more than $340,000 in cash proceeds forfeited. According to a federal report released last year, doctors in West Virginia wrote the third-highest number of prescriptions following Alabama and Tennessee.