Case Result: Nurse Vindicated After OB/GYN Accused Her of Being a Drug Addict, Dealer

Professional:
Nurse

Primary issue:
Client nurse had a medical condition that required surgery. The day before surgery, the surgeon did an E-FORCSE (Florida’s prescription drug monitoring program) review and noticed that client had prescriptions for opiates. Client explained that she had originally filled them per instruction of her primary care physician, but she stopped per preoperative instructions. Nonetheless, the surgeon called client and accused client of lying to her and being a drug addict and drug dealer.

Client was contacted by the Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN) shortly after and declined participation, per our instructions. Despite rejecting IPN in September 2020, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) did not open and initiate an investigation against her until May 2021

Argument:
In our initial response, we contended that the surgeon was being malicious for reporting client, as there was no evidence of any drug abuse. We asserted that the E-FORCSE records clearly showed that client was validly prescribed opiates at a reasonable dose and amount for a documented condition; there was no doctor shopping; and there was no evidence of more frequent refills. We encouraged the DOH to investigate the case further against the surgeon who, we argued, wrongfully reported client. We also provided the DOH with a drug test that showed the client was not impaired, as well as character references — including testimony from one of client’s friends who also had had a bad experience with the same provider.

Result:
The DOH reviewed the case and sent it to the probable cause panel. The panel voted to dismiss the case due to lack of evidence. The case will remain confidential, and client is free to return to practice without any consequences.

Areas of Law:
Healthcare Licensing
DOH Investigations & Complaints
Nursing License Defense
Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN)

Disclaimer:
This information is a sample of our past results. Prospective clients may not obtain the same or similar results. Every case is different and each case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits. The circumstances of your case may differ from the results provided. The information provided has not been reviewed or approved by the State Bar.

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