TUCSON (CN) - A man facing felony charges for performing unlicensed liposuction treatments, allegedly botched extensive plastic surgery on a woman whom he'd led to believe he was a doctor, the alleged victim claims in a lawsuit.
Gustavo Felix-Nunez is currently being held in the Pima County Jail without bond, charged with several counts of practicing medicine without a license. He has pleaded not guilty.
The Pima County Sheriff's Department arrested Nunez in June after several alleged victims reported receiving liposuction out of his golf-course home in Tucson.
The DEA had also arrested Nunez in August 2013 after a three-month investigation of his former clinic, NuTec, which Nunez ran out of warehouse in South Tucson. The DEA alleged at the time that he had performed liposuction and breast augmentation without a license on at least two women who later suffered severe complications. Agents also found stockpiles of drugs that they alleged Nunez had prescribed without a license.
Prior to his criminal troubles, Nunez worked for a "medical spa" in Tucson called Laser 1. Since his arrest, the clinic has been named along with Nunez in two civil lawsuits, most recently on Wednesday in Pima County Superior Court.
Former patient Raychell Summers claims in the complaint that Nunez and the clinic lied to her about his credentials.
"Sometime in the latter part of 2011, defendant Laser 1, through its agents, led plaintiff to believe that defendant Nunez was a licensed medical doctor and that he was also a representative for the product lines that were being used in the procedures being recommended," the lawsuit states.
Summers claims that Nunez worked on her for nearly a year, from July 2011 to May 2012, injecting "filler" around the bridge of her nose, under her eyes and in her lips, as well as performing "scalp treatments" and administering "injections for reduction of fat in her stomach."
Then things allegedly went horribly wrong.
"Plaintiff developed problems with all of these procedures," Summers says. "Specifically, plaintiff believes the filler did not break down and created lumps on the left side of the bridge of her nose and under her right eye. Additionally, the procedure for her lips left them uneven, she has a divot in her stomach due to the injection and the scalp treatment was painful and did not have any effect."
Alleging negligence and fraud, Summers seeks damages for past and future medical bills and emotional distress.
Laser 1 owner Callie Cox said Thursday that she had not seen Summers' lawsuit and so could not comment, but she added that "under no circumstances was Nunez represented as a medical doctor at any time in our facility."
"Since Nunez was arrested, we have had some frivolous lawsuits and there is no truth to any of these allegations," she said.
Summers is represented by attorney Marc Bleaman in Tucson. Bleaman is also working with Arturo Abril, who filed a similar lawsuit against Nunez and Laser 1 in July.
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