MORGANTOWN – Two lawsuits have been filed against Dr. Felix Brizuela for the deaths of two individuals.
Misti M. Merriman and Michelle Dawn Tuttle were patients of Brizuela for many years, Merriman first seeing him in 2013 and Tuttle in 2010, according to two complaints filed Dec. 4 in Monongalia Circuit Court.
Pamela I. Merriman, Misti Merriman’s mother, claimed Brizuela prescribed Xanax and Oxycodone on her first visit and increased her opioid medication over the years and eventually prescribed Methadone in a dangerous amount, along with Alprazolam.
Brizuela continued to increase Misti Merriman’s medication, which exceeded recommendations by the Center for Disease Control, according to the suit.
Kirk L. Tuttle, Michelle Tuttle’s husband, claims Brizuela prescribed opioid medications for his wife and increased the frequency and type of opioid medications.
Brizuela breached the standard of care to Michelle Tuttle and Misti Merriman by significantly overprescribing medication; failing to complete appropriate pain assessments and workups or failing to refer them for appropriate pain assessments and workups; failed to fully establish, implement and adhere to drug testing policies and procedures; caused and failed to treat Michelle Tuttle and Misti Merriman’s substance dependency or refer them for appropriate substance dependency and addiction treatment; and treated them with excessive opiate medication, according to the suits.
The plaintiffs claim as a result of the negligence and deviation from the applicable standard and care, Michelle Tuttle and Misti Merriman suffered serious personal injuries; great physical pain; and extreme emotional and mental trauma, all of which resulted in their deaths.
Pamela Merriman and Kirk Tuttle, as well as the rest of their families, also suffered the losses of society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices and advice of the decedents, according to the suits.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by William M. Tiano of Tiano O’Dell and Thomas G. Dyer of Dyer Law Offices.
Monongalia Circuit Court case numbers: 17-C-466, 17-C-467