While the answer to this question is likely to reveal itself with more court hearings in the future, according to aHuffington Post article, several complaints were made to California medical authorizes and federal law enforcement before Dr. Julio Diaz, also referred to as “The Candy Man,” was arrested for federal drug trafficking.
Diaz reportedly was allowed to continue practicing medicine despite the complaints against him and the 12 patients that have died since 2006.
Diaz has been accused of illegally prescribing significant quantities of the painkillers OxyContin, Vicodin, and Norco, as well as additional pharmaceuticals, to addicts with no precise medical need for the narcotics. He is also being charged with receiving sexual favors as payment for the painkillers from some women. If he is found guilty, he could spend up to 20 years in prison. At the time of the article’s release, Diaz had not be charged for the deaths.
Drug addiction, drug abuse, and illegal drug prescription are all major areas of concern. It is shocking to imagine that since 2003, Diaz is among over 230 doctors who have been charged with federal criminal counts relating to the abuse of prescription drugs. Court records and interviews have indicated that authorizes were keeping an eye on Diaz, but that his medical license was in good standing.
The unfortunate trend of Diaz’s patients abusing painkillers lasted more than 10 years, even as doctors at a Santa Barbara hospital determined and reported that an increasing amount of his patients visiting the emergency room were addicted to prescription drugs. It has been estimated that from 2009 to 2010, the hospital in question noted over 400 emergency room visits by Diaz’s patients including two individuals who were prescribed large numbers of narcotics that were 96 and 100 years of age.
There is no doubting the vital responsibilities of medical professionals to provide patients with a high standard of care. If a doctor or nurse fails to do this, a patient may suffer injury, illness, or death. The southern California medical malpractice lawyers at Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley have successfully handled a wide range of medical malpractice and personal injury cases. We are committed to protecting our clients’ rights by helping them obtain the compensation that is owed to them. For a free consultation bout your specific situation, please call 213-514-8332 today.