Pharma Blood Marketers Sued for Malpractice
Stephen Barrett, M.D.
The husband of a woman who died of breast cancer is suing Dr. Eduardo Lasalvia-Prisco and several others who marketed a bogus cancer treatment called Pharma Blood. The treatment, which cost $10,000, was said to be a vaccine made from the patient's blood. The lawsuit charges that Prisco failed to disclose the fact that Pharma Blood was unproven and that by the time that its ineffectiveness was obvious, it was to late to benefit from standard treatment. The marketers are also facing criminal charges.
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO
ALBERT ANAYA BURGOS
DR. EDUARDO M. LASALVIA-PRISCO,
CIVIL NO. 07-1053 (JAF)
TO THE HONORABLE COURT:
Now comes plaintiff, through Counsel and respectfully status and prays as follows:
I. NATURE OF THE ACTION
1.1 This is an action brought by plaintiff seeking compensatory damages as a result of the codefendants' tort and negligent actions and/or omissions, which occurred when plaintiff's wife sought treatment for her medical condition of breast cancer. As the direct result of codefendants' improper and negligent management, the proper treatment was delayed, which eventually caused her untimely death.
II. JURISDICTION AND VENUE
2.1 This Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1331, as plaintiff is of diverse citizenship from all of the defendants and the amount in controversy, exclusive of interest and costs, is in excess of seventy five thousand dollars ($75,000.00). According to 28 U.S.C. §1332 and the Seventh Amendment of the United States constitution, the plaintiff demands trial by jury in all the causes of action asserted herein.
2.2 Venue is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1391(a), as all defendants are residents of the State of Florida and as all the events and omissions, giving rise to the claim, occurred within the jurisdiction of Puerto Rico.
III. THE PARTIES
3.1 Plaintiff Albert Anaya-Burgos is the common law husband of Juana Ramos ("Juana/deceased"), and a resident and citizen of Puerto Rico.
3.2 Dr. Eduardo Lasalvia-Prisco ("Dr. Prisco"), Dr. John Doe and Dr. Richard Roe (hereinafter referred to as "doctors co-defendants"), were the physicians who treated the plaintiffs wife at the San Juan Bautista Medical Center and, consequently, were responsible for her medical care. As more particularly set forth below, the combined negligent acts and omissions of the other Defendants caused Juana's demise. They are all residents of the State of Florida, USA.
3.3 PharmaBlood, Inc. is a duly incorporated company with principal offices and place of business in the State of Florida.
3.4 XYZ Insurance company, Inc. and ABC Insurance Company, Inc., with unknown identities issued several insurance policies in favor of some of above named codefendants, which cover the compensation for damages sought in the instant complaint.
3.5 As soon as the true identity of the unknown codefendants is disclosed, plaintiff will request leave to file an amended complaint accordingly.
IV. THE FACTS
4.1.1 On or about the year 2002, Juana Ramos ("Juana") was diagnosed by Dr. Roque Nido, from Guayama, Puerto Rico, with breast cancer, which was in an early stage of development.
4.1.2 After a number of tests and physical exams, ordered according to her medical condition, Juana and her common law husband for 10 years, plaintiff Albert Anaya Burgos ("Albert"), went to the San Juan Bautista Medical Center, in Caguas, Puerto Rico, that allegedly sponsored a program to treat patients with cancer.
4.1.3 According to the best information available to plaintiff, the treatment allegedly sponsored by San Juan Bautista University, which owns and operates the San Juan Bautista Medical Center, consisted in retrieving patient a blood sample, and submit it to a laboratory procedure, which allegedly rose the power of these antibodies that were afterward injected to patient, supposedly for stimulating her immunological system.
4.1.4 At the time Juana and plaintiff went to Caguas, this program for the treatment of cancer patients was, and actually is, in clinical experimental stage since its unknown effectiveness and the interrelation of this new ''vaccine'' with other oncology treatments available, facts that were never disclosed to them.
4.1.5 This treatment was sold to plaintiff and the deceased by defendant Dr. Eduardo Lasalvia-Prisco ("Dr. Prisco") for $10,000.00, which they had to pay since their medical plan did not provide coverage. Representations were made by said defendant to them as a treatment that stimulates the anti-tumoral activity, even after a chemotherapy failure.
4.1.6 Dr. Prisco, a well known physician'scientist in the investigation area concerning oncology was, and, as far as plaintiff knows, is the head scientist of the defendant PharmaBlood, Inc., actually involved in the search, investigation and development of this novel procedure of vaccination.
4.1.7 Dr. Prisco did not have a permit to practice medicine in Puerto Rico, which was an unknown fact to plaintiff and the deceased. However, he and the other defendant doctors treated Juana at the San Juan Medical Center with the experimental proceeding.
4.1.8 Although knowing that this vaccine was a novel treatment for cancer patients, plaintiff and wife were never informed by defendants nor recommended them the program's protocol, which ordered that only cancer patients in an advanced stage would be admitted for treatment, with a certification signed by the treating oncologist, stating that conventional treatments were exhausted before commencing with this new one.
4.1.9 Aside from defendants, no other treatment was given before to deal with Juana's breast cancer.
4.1.10 Despite having provisional patents from the Office of Patents and Trademarks of the United States, defendants' treatment was and actually is, in clinical experimental stage.
4.1.11 During approximately two years, induced by defendants' representations and hopeful expressions, Juana was treated at the San Juan Bautista Medical Center with this undeveloped vaccine.
4.1.12 In view of the fact that this treatment went nowhere, against Dr. Prisco's recommendations, plaintiff and wife decided to discontinue it, but it was too late, since her breast cancer disseminated to other vital body organs, as they learned later.
4.1.13 On July 30, 2004, following an intense agony, Juana passed away at the Hospital Auxilio Mutuo in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she was admitted to treat her breast cancer, to no avail. It was then when plaintiff learned the details, nature and doubtful validity of the clinical experiment his wife was submitted to at Caguas and that the delay to pursue the correct treatment caused her demise.
4.1.14 At all time pertinent to the facts alleged to in this complaint, codefendants Dr. Prisco, Dr. Doe and Dr. Roe were the owners, employees or agents of codefendant PharmaBlood, Inc., which benefit from plaintiff s payment, thus being liable for Juana's demise and consequently, plaintiffs damages.
4.1.15 Juana's untimely demise and prior physical and emotional sufferings were the direct result of defendants' exclusive acts of fault or negligence in the management and treatment of her condition with the referred vaccine, without knowing that she was used by defendants as 'guiny pig' for their experiments, while breaching their own protocol or set of rules, defrauding plaintiff and wife, thus, obtaining an invalid and null consent for treatment.
4.1.16 As alleged, XYZ and ABC Insurance companies issued several insurance policies in favor of the above named codefendants, are liable and responsible for the negligence and legal infringements of their insured, up to the insurance coverage of each policy, for damages sought in the instant complaint.
5.1.1 The allegations set forth in paragraphs 1 thru 4.1.16, both inclusive, are incorporated hereto by reference.
5.1.2 As direct, proximate and foreseeable result of decedent's death and loss of consortium, her common law husband plaintiff Albert Anaya Burgos has suffered and will continue to suffer intense pain and emotional and moral anguish, which is estimated in a sum of not less than two million dollars ($2,000,000.00).
5.1.3 As direct, proximate and foreseeable result of decedent's death, her common law husband plaintiff Albert Anaya Burgos incurred in a sum of not less than $10,000.00, which he paid to defendants for his wife's faulty cancer treatment and $5,000.00 paid to the Hospital Auxilio Mutuo for subsequent treatment and hospitalization and, moreover, the sum of $5,000.00 paid for her funeral expenses.
5.1.4 Defendants are jointly and severally liable for plaintiffs damages alleged to in this complaint.
5.1.5 The corresponding statute of limitation applicable to this case, regarding plaintiffs causes of action, was tolled by the filing cf a complaint on July 29, 2005, in the Court of First Instance, Caguas Part, in the Civil Case No. EDP 2005-0281, voluntarily dismissed upon motion filed by plaintiff on January 23, 2006.
WHEREFORE, it is respectfully requested that this Hon. Court grants this Complaint in all its parts and enter judgment for the plaintiff and against the codefendants, with the imposition of prejudgment interests, costs and a reasonable amount of attorney's fees.
In Ponce, Puerto Rico, this 19th Day of January, 2007.
I HEREBY CERTIFY that, on this same date I sent copy of this Complaint to the Insurance Commissioner Office and to the Puerto Rico Medical Board (Tribunal Examinador de Medicos), to their known addresses.
/s Jose F. Velazquez-Ortiz
JOSE F. VELAZQUEZ ORTIZ
Counsel for plaintiff
37 Sol Street
Ponce, Puerto Rico 00717-063 8
TEL. (787) 259-3778 / Fax 840-1774
This page was posted on March 9, 2007.