BECKLEY – A Raleigh County physician is suing the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources after he claims his medical license was suspended due to whistle-blowing.
The West Virginia Office of the Governor, West Virginia Board of Osteopathic Medicine and other unnamed defendants were also named in the suit.
Beginning no later than January 2005, the defendants formed an association known as Industry Risk Management Association, according to a complaint filed April 25 in Raleigh Circuit Court.
Dr. Michael Kostenko claims the defendants have “for more than ten years conspired to achieve, through illegal means, the shared goals of maximizing profits for the special interest of industry, benefit to themselves and avoiding the consequences of their actions.”
In order to avoid discovery of their fraudulent conduct and the possibility that they might be called to account for their conduct, the defendants engaged in a scheme to frustrate public scrutiny, according to the suit.
Kostenko claims the defendants tortuous and unlawful course of conduct has caused the public to suffer dangerous diseases while depriving them of the right to know what may harm them as secured under federal Occupational Safety and Health Law and the state’s Public Health Law.
In August 2011, Kostenko sent the Social Justice Amendment of West Virginia Public Health Law to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, in response to the appeal of Tomblin for all public input to understand and manage the drug abuse and addiction problem in the state.
Kostenko claims he made the submission of the Social Justice Amendment to the DHHR on Oct. 31 2014, and then again with his appeal of exemption request on April 22, 2015. He also submitted the SJA during hearings with the DHHR on Aug. 21, 2015, Dec. 11, 2015.
While receiving these submissions, the state is knowing of the whistle-blower complaint Kostenko filed on Jan. 28, 2011, and he communicated the alleged corruption of medicine by censorship of medicine to the Board of Osteopathy by reports presented to the Board on June 15, 2005, and Feb. 22, 2006, according to the suit.
Kostenko claims his whistle-blowing caused the defendants to suspend his medical license.
Kostenko is seeking an injunction reversing the Osteopathic Board’s suspension of his license and to reverse the DHHR’s denial of exemption petition for medicine, as well as economic damages. He is being represented by Christina Kostenko.
The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Robert A. Burnside Jr.
Last fall, the DHHR sued Kostenko for defying the state’s orders to close his pain management clinic.
In 2012, the West Virginia Legislature passed the Chronic Pain Clinic Licensing Act in order to establish licensing requirements for facilities that treat patients for chronic pain management.
Twice, the state asked Kostenko to close down his pain clinic and he agreed to, but then did not close.
Raleigh Circuit Court case number: 16-C-252