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Friday, March 1, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

‘Pill Mill’ Doctors Sued After KY Man’s Overdose

BALTIMORE (CN) - The family of a Kentucky man who overdosed on pain meds filed a lawsuit against the "pill mill" doctors facing criminal charges for the same enterprise.

It has been nearly three years to the day since Dalewood Brewer Jr. overdosed on prescribed pain medications and was taken off life support, according the March 23 complaint filed in Baltimore County Circuit Court.

Brewer's parents and the mother of his child say the man got his drugs from the various doctors and other individuals involved in pain-management clinics called Healthy Life in Maryland, Total Care in Florida and Augusta Wellness Center in Maryland.

A van allegedly began bringing Brewer and others who would pay cash for prescriptions to Healthy Life in early 2011.

Healthy Life's customers "paid at least $300 for an initial visit and at least $250 for all subsequent visits and the fees were collected upfront," according to the complaint.

Calling "impossible for any employee of Healthy Life to be unaware that is was a pill mill," Brewer's family notes that the clinic often "attracted large and unruly crowds of customers who began loitering outside the business ... engaged in drug transactions, discarded trash and caused disturbances."

When some pharmacies refused to fill the excessive narcotic prescriptions provided by the clinic's doctors - identified in the complaint as Daniel Alexander, Michael Durry and William Crittenden - the Healthy Life defendants referred patients to pharmacies like Zonetak "that were willing to fill the prescriptions for cash," the complaint continues.

Brewer died, the family notes, months before Crittenden's license was revoked in 2012. That year Alexander and Durry also allegedly had their licenses suspended.

The Justice Department announced criminal charges against those three doctors last year.

Michael Resnick aka Michael Reznikov, 53, and his wife Alina Margulis, 48, of Brooklyn, N.Y. - the owners of Healthy Life Medical Group in Timonium, Md. - were charged as well, and Brewer's family likewise names that couple as defendants.

The complaint notes that approximately 2,423 customers received prescriptions from Healthy Life on 8,104 separate visits between March 2011 and March 2012.

The customer in those visits "received at least one prescription for oxycodone over 97% of the time," the complaint continues.

Brewer's family seeks damages for medical malpractice, conspiracy, wrongful death and other claims.

They are represented by attorney Stephen Markey in Towson.

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