California woman Courtney Canter has filed suit against the “Candy Man,” Dr. Julio Gabriel Diaz -- who caused 11 other patients to die of drug overdoses -- claiming he got her addicted to drugs by over-prescribing medications.
In addition to Diaz, Canter’s suit in Santa Barbara Superior Court also names Walgreens, CVS Caremark and Long's Drug Stores.
Diaz was arrested on federal drug trafficking charges in early 2012 and pleaded guilty to illegally prescribing a controlled substance, failure to maintain proper security and storage, and two counts of illegally prescribing a narcotic on Sept. 24 of this year.
The doctor’s 75-page arrest affidavit "describes in discomforting detail the overprescribing practices of Dr. Diaz, identifies at least 11 overdose deaths of patients under Dr. Diaz's care, and depicts Dr. Diaz as a drug-dealing doctor known to some patients as 'the candy man.'"
The most recent of Diaz’s patients to overdose died in Nov. 2011 after he was allegedly prescribed 2,087 pills in the six weeks leading up to his death. In addition to cash, the “Candy Man” is also accused of trading pills for sex.
When she was under his care, Canter claims that Diaz put her on a “pain management regimen that consisted of a complex combination of highly addictive, dangerous medications in increasingly higher dosages over time, and a course of treatment that fell woefully below the level of skill, knowledge and care in diagnosis and treatment."
She says she became addicted to drugs, leading her to "compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences, and compromised her ability to resist intense impulses to take drugs and their ability to appreciate the harmful effects of those drugs."
Canter said she only became aware of how dangerous the drugs had become after she fell down a flight of stairs and "suffered physical and psychological consequences of drug addiction, to the point that hospitalizations, detoxification and rehabilitation were required.”
As compensation for her “great physical and emotional pain and suffering," Canter is seeking damages for medical malpractice.
[Courthouse News] [Santa Barbara Independent]