WEST PALM BEACH (CN) - A lupus patient says her doctor lured her into an abusive sexual relationship, controlled all aspects of her life, broke her rib and "head butted her face and nose with the top of his head," saying, "I just did you a favor, you had an ugly Jew nose anyhow." She sued Dr. Brett R. Hutton, of Delray Beach, in Palm Beach County Court.
Randi Felix has systemic lupus erythematosus, a debilitating chronic autoimmune disease. She says she met Hutton at a pharmaceutical dinner, looking for treatments for the disease.
Felix says Hutton immediately became interested in taking over as her doctor and claimed he was a "lupus specialist" and had treated many lupus patients in Mexico.
"He went on to say that 'I am the guy to see if you want real help with your disease,'" the complaint states.
Felix says: "Hutton vigorously pursued a romantic relationship with plaintiff but she regularly refused his overtures because she was dating someone else and was further uncomfortable with the idea of becoming romantically involved with her doctor and did not wish to put their professional relationship at risk."
Hutton was able to alleviate some of her symptoms and improve her overall health, and Felix says she "became increasingly dependent on defendant Hutton both professionally and psychologically."
The increasing psychological and emotional dependence eventually led Felix to give in to Hutton's advances and become romantically involved with him in May 2010, according to the complaint.
She says that as the relationship progressed, "Hutton not only exerted more and more control over plaintiff's medical care and treatment but also exerted such control and influence over her personal life and often crossed the boundaries of what plaintiff deemed to be normal and acceptable dating behavior, especially in a relatively new relationship."
Felix says the relationship soon became abusive, with Hutton often screaming at her and physically abusing her. She says Hutton "grabbed her arms and slammed her into a wall, which left deep bruises on her arms" when she asked about his previous marriage.
Although Felix was afraid Hutton had an anger management problem, she allowed their romantic relationship to continue, fearing he would stop treating her if she ended it, she says.
She says she visited Hutton at his home on Feb. 8 and found him in a "highly agitated state."
"When plaintiff tried to calm him, defendant Hutton suddenly, and without warning whatsoever, struck her in the left side of her mouth with his right hand causing her lip to bleed and swell."
The complaint continues: "Instead of offering medical assistance, defendant Hutton told plaintiff that 'it was her own fault that her mouth hit his hand and to stop being a baby,' whereupon plaintiff left ..."
Felix says she agreed to give Hutton one last chance, but he physically abused her again while they ate dinner at a restaurant with family and friends: "Hutton became enraged with plaintiff over something she whispered to him and reached under the table and sharply jabbed the left side of her torso and angrily whispered for her to 'shut the f- up.'"
Felix says her "pain from the blow was immediate and severe," and she tended to the injury in the restaurant rest room, "where the pain caused her to vomit."