Cabell couple blames doctor for man's drug addiction

By Kyla Asbury | Mar 26, 2012

HUNTINGTON -- A Cabell County man and his wife are suing a Huntington physician they say facilitated his drug addiction.

Ten unknown and unnamed physicians; CVS Pharmacy; Rite Aid of West Virginia; Fruth Pharmacy; and five unknown and unnamed pharmacies were also named as defendants in the suit.

Beginning in 2003, Dr. Anita Dawson treated James Holley and when he complained of stress and leg problems, she prescribed him narcotics and other controlled substances, including Oxcycodon, Oxycodone, Lortab, Darvocet and Oxycodin, according to a complaint filed March 7 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Holley claims in 2007, he presented to the emergency room of Cabell Huntington Hospital complaining of seizures, which were caused by over medication.

After Dawson became aware of the seizures and emergency room visits, she continued to write controlled substance prescriptions for Holley and did not request a State of West Virginia Board of Pharmacy report until several months later, according to the suit.

Holley claims after the seizures, Dawson began prescribing opiates to him along with his other prescriptions.

Dawson "substantially encouraged and assisted James Holley's drug impairment and his addiction to controlled medications by prescribing drugs to him when it was foreseeable to defendant Dawson that her patient ... would become addicted to the controlled medications she was prescribing," according to the suit.

Holley claims Dawson owed a duty to him to realize that prescribing drugs to him created an unreasonable risk of addiction and related problems and owed a duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent the addiction he suffered.

The pharmacy defendants owed a duty to Holley to skillfully, prudently and thoroughly dispense narcotics and controlled substances to him, but failed to do so, according to the suit.

Holley and his wife, Tamella Jo Holley, are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Derek W. Marsteller.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 12-C-144

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