CHARLESTON -- A woman is suing a physician she claims got her daughter addicted to prescription medication and caused her death.

Dr. William Casto had a sexual relationship with Stacie Smith and purchased her lavish gifts in return for sexual favors, according to a complaint filed Dec. 21 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Marlene Hardwick claims Casto then got Smith addicted to prescription drugs and forced Smith to sell the drugs "on 'the street,' placing her in danger."

Casto knew or should have known that forcing Smith to sell drugs illegally was dangerous and could lead to injury or death, according to the suit.

On Dec. 28, 2009, Casto forced Smith to complete a drug sale, at which she was confronted and murdered, according to the suit.

Hardwick claims Casto was negligent in his demands to Smith, which led to her death.

Casto was negligent in his conduct relative to the death of Smith, according to the suit.

Hardwick is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by D. Adrian Hoosier.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James C. Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-2283




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