Parents Sue Doctor Over Son’s Overdose

     RENO, Nev. (CN) — A family doctor charged on suspicion of running an oxycodone distribution ring has been sued by a Nevada couple who say he overprescribed narcotics to their son, who died of an overdose.
     Dr. Robert Rand “routinely engaged in the practice of writing prescriptions for controlled substances” without properly conducting physical examinations of patients or obtaining complete medical histories, the parents of Michael Yenick claim in a wrongful death lawsuit filed this month in Washoe County.
     The Yenicks also say their 33-year-old son, a former football player at the University of Nevada-Reno, was a vulnerable person under Nevada law because of his history of addiction to oxycodone, a semi-synthetic opioid classed as a Schedule II controlled substance and marketed under several trade names including OxyContin.
     William Jeanney, attorney for the parents, said Michael Yenick took oxycodone for a back injury he suffered while playing football, became addicted and successfully went through rehab. He still required pain management, and that’s when he began seeing Rand, Jeanney said.
     Yenick died this past October of oxycodone and alcohol intoxication.
     “Overprescribing oxycodone and oxycodone addiction are really an epidemic nationwide and coming to light in our community,” Jeanney said in an interview. “This particular case represents the type of case that we think needs attention, not only on behalf of the Yenick family, but the Yenick family has a concern about other individuals similarly situated in the community who frankly need the protection of the medical community as opposed to being taken advantage of.”
     Jeanney said Yenick’s treatment by Rand required special attention because of his struggles with prescription drug abuse.
     “When you choose to treat him with the very same narcotic painkiller that he had rehabbed from within the previous four months, you provide all the safeguards that would be required for the treatment of this type of patient to make sure that you’re not addicting them again,” Jeanney said.
     Yenick’s death is part of a federal investigation that has resulted in criminal charges against Rand and eight other people accused of running an oxycodone ring that prosecutors say operated at times out of a car dealership in Reno.
     The charges against Rand include distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and two other counts.
     According to the criminal complaint, Rand issued a prescription for oxycodone “not for a legitimate medical purpose” to an individual with the initials M.Y.
     Rand, who was arrested in San Francisco while returning to Reno from a family vacation in Hawaii, is expected to make his initial appearance in Federal Court in Reno later this week.
     Regarding the criminal charges Rand faces, his criminal attorney John Arrascada said he hasn’t received any of the information that led the government to charge Rand.
     “We will receive the information from the government in the normal course of litigation. Thus, at this time, it would be improper and imprudent to make any statement upon the charges,” Arrascada said.

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