Family Says Doctor Has Bad History

     ALBUQUERQUE (CN) – A Navajo teenager is paralyzed because of poor care from a doctor who was not licensed in the state and was on restricted licenses in three other states, his family claims in court.
     Lydell Begay and his family sued Medicus Healthcare Solutions on June 12 in Federal Court. The unusual lawsuit includes a monkey and 990 pills of oxycodone.
     Medicus Healthcare, a privately held LLC and the only defendant, is a registered government contractor that provides locum tenens, or temporary, staffing for federal institutions, including the Indian Health Services, which manages the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, N.M.
     The Begays claim that in an ER visit on March 6, 2014, Dr. Annicol Marrocco misdiagnosed Lydell as having conjunctivitis, and told him to go home and take ibuprofen. Lydell’s symptoms – dizziness, severe headaches, left-side weakness, unsteadiness and blurred vision – were signs of “potentially serious neurological problems,” which, a little over a week later, left him paralyzed in all his limbs, unable to speak and brain-damaged with “‘locked-in syndrome’ … permanently imprisoned in his own body, unable to interact with the world around him,” according to the complaint.
     The Begays claim that when Dr. Marrocco treated Lydell, “she was not licensed to practice medicine in New Mexico and was acting under restricted medical licenses from three other states.”
     In November 2013, four months before misdiagnosing Lydell, an administrative law judge with the DEA “recommended that Dr. Marrocco’s DEA registration be revoked on the grounds that her continued registration would be inconsistent with the public interest,” the complaint states. The judge’s recommendation was affirmed by the Department of Justice on May 4 this year.
     In their lawsuit, the Begays say Marrocco has an “alarming history,” including improperly prescribing oxycodone, a narcotic for “other than a legitimate medical purpose” to someone with whom “she was in a personal relationship.”
     After writing three undated prescriptions for 149 days supply of OxyContin for this person – already a violation – she wrote him three more undated prescriptions for it the next month, after he told her that a monkey had opened his first pill bottles and thrown them in the pool – an allegation contained in the lawsuit that the Justice Department cites in its May 4 order.
     The DEA and Justice Department found that Marrocco “lacked candor” in explaining that one.
     The Begays seek damages for medical negligence, vicarious liability, direct liability, unfair trade practices and loss of consortium.
     Their lead counsel is Turner Branch of Albuquerque.

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