Louisiana Record

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Children allege interference of state medical examiners caused mother’s overdose

By Robert Hadley | Feb 3, 2016

Back pain

NEW ORLEANS – The surviving children of woman allege the state board of medical examiners interfered with their mother’s back pain treatment, contributing to her death.

Alexia Senee James and Albert Lewis James filed a lawsuit Jan. 11 in Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans against the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners, Cecilia Mouton and Leslie Rye, alleging negligence and violation of doctor-patient confidentiality.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs’ mother, Tonja Guitreau James, received medication from Dr. Arnold Feldman from 2012 to 2014 for chronic back pain. But during the defendants’ investigation of Feldman, Rye and Mouton allegedly influenced her to leave his care, the suit states. After changing doctors, the suit says Tonja James developed a narcotics addiction, suffered physical pain and mental anguish, and an overall destabilization of her medical condition. The suit says she died of a prescription overdose on July 19, 2014.

The plaintiffs seek damages in an amount to be proven at trial. They are represented by attorney Jeffry T. Sanford of Sanford and Associates in Baton Rouge.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Case number 16-308

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Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans