A California woman’s medical malpractice lawsuit against Dr. Julio Gabriel Diaz – called “the candy man” – claims his over-prescribing of powerful pain medications got her addicted to drugs. The doctor is accused of causing 11 overdose deaths.
Courtney Canter’s lawsuit, filed in Santa Barbara Superior court, names Walgreens, CVS Caremark and Long’s Drug Stores, in addition to Dr. Diaz, United Press International (UPI) reports. Diaz was arrested on federal drug trafficking charges in early 2012 and on September 24, 2013 he pled guilty to illegally prescribing a controlled substance, failure to maintain proper security and storage, and two counts of illegally prescribing a narcotic.
In a 75-page arrest affidavit, Diaz’s dangerous prescribing practices are described in great detail. The affidavit identifies 11 overdose deaths of patients under Diaz’s care. Diaz, according to UPI, is a drug-dealing doctor, known to patients as “the candy man.” The most recent overdose death attributed to Diaz occurred in November 2011. Diaz allegedly prescribed 2,087 pills to the patient in the six-week period prior to his death. Diaz is also accused of trading pills for sex.
In her lawsuit, Canter alleges that the pain management regimen Diaz put her on was a combination of highly addictive, dangerous medications in increasingly higher dosages over time, and the course of treatment “fell woefully below the level of skill, knowledge and care in diagnosis and treatment,” according to UPI. She said her addiction led to “compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.” Canter said the “physical and psychological consequences of drug addiction” required hospitalizations, detoxification, and rehab to overcome the addiction. She is seeking damages for medical malpractice.