GASTONIA, N.C. (CN) - A patient claims her psychiatrist demanded oral sex for drugs and had her sleep over at his house, where he choked and punched her in the mouth. She says the doctor referred to the choking as "foreplay".
Brandy Wortman sued Dr. Todd Michael Alford, of Kings Mountain, in Gaston County Court.
Wortman says Alford became her doctor in 2007, while he practiced in South Carolina. She says he continued to treat her after he moved to North Carolina in 2008.
Alford often discussed inappropriate topics during their psychotherapy sessions, which lasted from 15 to 45 minutes, Wortman says, including asking her to spend the night at his house and to bring drugs he had prescribed for her.
She says Alford started the therapy sessions with progress notes on her case, some of which were false and misleading. But "Alford would spend the remainder of the therapy sessions with Ms. Wortman discussing oral sex, internet dating sites, Ritalin, and other subjects unrelated to the proper treatment of her psychiatric condition," according to the complaint.
She adds: "Defendant Alford would also spend time during these therapy sessions encouraging Ms. Wortman to visit him at his residence in North Carolina, spend the night at his residence, and bring bottles of Ritalin he prescribed her to his residence for the purpose of his own drug use. ...
"Defendant Alford attempted to trade Ms. Wortman Klonopin for oral sex during one of these private sessions.
"Upon information and belief, defendant Alford referred to the trade of oral sex and Ritalin in return for therapy and therapeutic drugs as 'tit-for-tat.'"
Wortman says Alford wrote her five prescriptions for Ritalin in less than 4 months, told her to fill them in South Carolina, where she lived, and asked her to bring the drugs to his house, where he would split them with her.
She says Alford called her often, discussed oral sex during the phone calls, and encouraged her to move to North Carolina, closer to him.
She says Alford picked her up from her grandmother's home in South Carolina various times and drove her to his place to spend the night.
"After picking up Ms. Wortman from her grandmother's home in South Carolina, defendant Alford would, upon information and belief, ask Ms. Wortman to perform oral sex on him," according to the complaint.
Wortman says that while spending the night at Alford's house, "they would engage in oral and digital sex," and Alford gave her Valium, Xanax and alcohol.
She says Alford became abusive, and choked, kicked and hit her, giving her a busted lip.
"Alford referred to his asphyxiation of Ms. Wortman as 'foreplay,'" the complaint states.
"Upon information and belief, defendant Alford further indicated that if he squeezed two specific glands on Ms. Wortman's neck, he could kill her."
Wortman says that in 2009 the Kings Mountain Police Department investigated Alford for drug diversion. During the investigation, she says, Alford admitted that Wortman had spent the night at his house and that they had "snuggled."
She says that "during the course of the aforementioned police investigation, defendant Alford admitted Ms. Wortman incurred a 'busted lip' in his kitchen, though he alleged it came as a result of an accident."
Alford surrendered his North Carolina medical license in May 2009, according to the complaint.
Wortman seeks compensatory and punitive damages for medical malpractice, negligence, infliction of emotional distress, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent hiring and retention, assault and battery.
She is represented by William Moore Jr. with Gray, Layton, Kersh, Solomon, Sigmon, Furr & Smith.
Named as defendants are Todd Michael Alford M.D., Carolina Forensic Psychiatry, Kings Mountain Hospital dba Cleveland Regional Medical Center and The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority dba Carolinas HealthCare System.
Subscribe to Closing Arguments
Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.