OC Parents Sue Doctor for Drug Death

Dr. Tseng has been covered here as we discussed her reckless behavior of prescribing opiates carelessly from her Rowland Heights based Osteopathy practice. Parents of 2 overdose victims are taking drastic legal measures.

This week in Orange County the parents of two young men filed lawsuits against the doctor who supplied the prescription drugs the lead to the deaths of their sons.  Dr. Lisa Tseng, who dispenses prescriptions from an office in a strip mall in Rowland Heights, has been linked to 10 drug deaths since 2007.  Most of the deaths involved young men who drove to her office from Orange County and paid cash for prescriptions that they filled at pharmacies located miles away.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Tseng is accused in the suit of acting more like a drug dealer than a responsible health care provider.  Ryan Winter and Riley Russo, the young men who are the subject of the lawsuit, were each 20 years old when they died after taking Opana, a prescription narcotic painkiller that is similar to OxyContin.  Tseng also prescribed other dangerous drugs to both young men.

Dr. Tseng, a 40-year-old osteopath, denies responsibility for any drug deaths, blaming her patients for not following dosage instructions.  Medical and drug authorities view her actions differently.  State medical investigators have begun the process to revoke Dr. Tseng’s medical license and she is the subject of a criminal investigation by the DEA.  She is accused of indiscriminately prescribing a wide variety of painkillers, anti-anxiety medications and muscle relaxants.

Riley Russo was a high school football player who began abusing Opana and Xanax, a prescription anti-anxiety drug, at age 16.  He quit sports and became consumed by drug addiction, eventually trying heroin.  Before his death, he had recently completed drug rehab treatment and was working as a painter.  Despite Russo’s record of drug addiction, Dr. Tseng wrote him multiple prescriptions for high doses of dangerous drugs, including Opana and Xanax.  His parents claim in their lawsuit that her actions played a substantial role in his death.

According to lawyer Larry Eisenberg, who is handling the lawsuit for the parents, Ryan Winter obtained two prescriptions for Opana and one for Xanax from Dr. Tseng the week he died.  He describes the doctor’s actions as destroying the lives of his clients.

In an earlier case, a group of Arizona State University students that included 21-year-old Joey Rovero traveled from Arizona to Southern California with the express purpose of obtaining drugs from Dr. Tseng.  They left with a handful of prescriptions and headed back to school.  A week later Rovero was dead from a drug overdose.

Even if Dr. Tseng is innocent of purposely acting as a drug dealer, she is guilty of ignoring the dangers of prescription drugs and being unaware of the warning signs of drug abuse and addiction.  Last April, the Obama administration announced that it would seek legislation to require doctors to undergo additional training before being allowed to prescribe powerful drugs like OxyContin, Opanaand Xanax.  If this training had been required in the past, perhaps some of Dr. Tseng’s patients would still be alive.