News

Actions

Lawsuit filed against Manitowoc doctor charged in over-prescribing pain medication

Szyman already facing 19 federal drug charges
Posted: 2:03 PM, Oct 10, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-11 00:05:40-04

A lawsuit has been filed against Manitowoc doctor Charles Szyman in connection with the case against him for over-prescribing pain medication.

Nine plaintiffs, which include four estates of patients who died, filed the suit against Szyman, Holy Family Memorial Inc., the Holy Family Memorial Hospital Pharmacy, and 11 other defendants.

Szyman entered a plea of not guilty on 19 criminal counts of unlawful drug prescriptions last June.

He is accused of over-prescribing oxycodone, fetanyl, morphine, amphetamine and hydrocodone while working at Holy Family Medical Center in Manitowoc.

Each count carries a maximum 20 years in prison if convicted.

Attorneys behind the lawsuit, filed October 4th, say they're seeking justice for their clients, and stand firmly by every allegation. The suit itself is seeking damages, and attorney fees, among other compensation. 
 
The allegations in the suit are varied.
 
In the cases of three of the four former patients listed, the suit says the patient died "as the result of mixed drug toxicity, with such drugs including narcotic pain medication... prescribed by Dr. Charles Szyman."
 
In one case, the suit lists the patient's death as the result of injuries "linked directly to" narcotics prescribed by Szyman.
 
Attorneys also claim in the complaint that "local law enforcement" had been aware of Szyman prescribing "mass quantities" of narcotics, specifically opioid pain killers, since 1999. 
 
The lawsuit also lists Holy Family Memorial Hospital Pharmacy, which filled the prescriptions, as a defendant.
 
Mark P. Herzog, President and CEO of Holy Family Memorial, released the following statement Monday:
 
“Holy Family Memorial has a 117-year history of care rooted in our core values of stewardship, excellence and respect. Our hospital and employees are committed to providing compassionate care to all those we serve. We believe this does not overshadow all of the other incredible work we do and the care we provide. Our focus remains on helping patients and serving the community.”
 
The Wisconsin Medical Examining Board suspended Szyman's medical license as a result of the charges against him.

A trial date regarding the federal drug charges has not been set. 

WATCH: Manitowoc Doctor enters a plea of not guilty in painkillers over-prescription case