A Putnam County man has filed suit against a doctor and health center, alleging they refused to give him pain medication and dismissed him as a patient after finding marijuana in his system.
Ronald Sprouse claims Family Care Health Center, office manager Janice Amburgey and Dr. Larry Beker dismissed him as a patient after they said he failed to meet requirements in a pain management agreement.
Sprouse tested positive for cannabinoid on June 13 and was then dismissed, according to the lawsuit filed Sept. 3 in Putnam County Circuit Court.
He admits in the complaint he does smoke marijuana to treat symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
"In addition the Plaintiff asserts that many medications have been used in the past to attempt to treat his disorder without success," the suit states. "Only the use of marijuana has proven effective to control the Plaintiff's disorder."
When he does not smoke marijuana, Sprouse claims he becomes violent toward his family and does not leave his house in fear of how he will react toward others in society.
"Unless properly medicated the Plaintiff cannot sleep, has night sweats, and bouts of deep depression," the suit states.
In the pain management agreement Sprouse signed, a line states, "Unannounced urine or serum toxicology screens may be requested, and your cooperation is required. Presence of unauthorized substances (legal or illegal) will result in discharge from the practice."
Sprouse contends the clause is invalid because Family Care neglected to tell him or provide a list of what it considers unauthorized substances.
"Without such a list the Plaintiff had no way of knowing what Family Care considered to be legal or illegal unauthorized substances," the suit states.
Sprouse also claims he was forced to sign the document. If he did not, he would not have been treated, he claims.
"In this case the Plaintiff was forced to sign the Pain Management Agreement or live a life in constant pain with no medication," the complaint states.
Sprouse claims he did not violate the agreement out of malfeasance, but because of medical necessity.
"Family Care was not authorized to prescribe the medication needed to alleviate his serious medical condition, not is any medical professional in the state of West Virginia," the complaint states. "In order to preserve his health, mental stability, and the safety of his family and others, the Plaintiff was forced to medicate himself."
Sprouse is seeking a judgment against Family Care Health Center that would allow him to continue treatment at the center and that would prevent the center from placing any negative comments or documents in Sprouse's medical file that would inhibit other health care professionals from prescribing him medication.
He is also seeking court costs.
He has requested a jury trial.
Sprouse is representing himself.
Putnam County Circuit Court case number: 08-C-294.