Pill Mill Attorney with Joyce and Reyes Remarks on South Florida Doctor’s Guilty Plea
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) October 15, 2013 - A physician co-owner of a pain clinic in Margate, Fla., pleaded guilty to the improper prescription of opioid painkillers.
Joseph Francis Piazza, 62, worked at Margate Pain Management Clinic for just over nine months beginning in October, 2009, and ending in August, 2010. According to prosecutors, he prescribed 152,774 pills of oxycodone and related addictive painkillers and personally earned $253,800 during that time period.
“The alleged improper prescriptions in this case took place before Florida's crackdown on pill mills,” said Tampa pill mill attorney Robert Joyce. “This sort of activity was so widespread that authorities are still filing charges against doctors and prosecuting the cases years later. The new laws that went into effect in 2011 are having a very significant and positive effect. It is still possible, of course, for doctors to improperly prescribe oxycodone and other addictive drugs, but it is now far more difficult.”
Piazza was charged in federal court in Fort Lauderdale with felony conspiracy to illegally dispense controlled substances. The maximum penalty for the charge is five years imprisonment, three years probation, $250,000 in fines, and forfeiture of all income acquired in his practice.
The work of two informants posing as pain patients was the foundation of investigators' case against Piazza. One met with the doctor on August 30, 2009. In an appointment lasting just under 11 minutes, Piazza asked just four questions before prescribing oxycodone, muscle relaxant Soma, and sedative Ativan. The other informant met with Piazza on April 2, 2010 for less than five minutes before acquiring prescriptions for oxycodone and sedative Xanax. In both cases, Piazza did not examine the patient or discuss available alternatives to addictive medication, but his reports indicated that he did, prosecutors say.
Piazza surrendered his medical license and remains free on bond of $150,000 until his sentencing hearing, scheduled for November 18, 2013.
“For those patients and their families who were harmed by addictive painkillers, perhaps prescribed with little regard for patient health and safety, it is not too late to pursue legal action,” Joyce added. “They should consult with an experienced attorney to explore their options.”
Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
View Larger Map
- Family of Corey Jones files Florida wrongful death lawsuit
The family of a man killed by a Florida police officer has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the officer and the city of Palm Beach Gardens. Corey Jones, a 31-year-old African-American man who was employed as a property manager and played drums in his church, was killed by Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman […]
- Fatal Florida car accident raises concerns about safety in autonomous vehicles
The rapidly developing technology of self-driving cars holds the promise of an enormously positive impact on public safety, with many experts claiming that over 90 percent of car accident fatalities could be eliminated if autonomous vehicles become widespread. However, that claim was called into question recently, when it was revealed that the driver of a […]
- Tampa area pill mill doctor sentenced to prison
On May 23, a federal judge sentenced Edward Feldman, age 76, to 25 years in federal prison. As a doctor, he improperly prescribed pain medications to addicts in his Tampa area clinic, leading to three patient deaths, a jury found. U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore told Feldman, “You became a drug pusher,” and said […]
- Tampa mother seeks changes to Florida medical malpractice law
A Tampa mother wants changes to medical malpractice laws in Florida, after, she says, a hospital refused to release her son’s medical records until after it was too late to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Jane Muino’s son Charlie is 11 years old and cannot walk or talk due to brain damage. Muino said Charlie […]
- Florida jury awards 10 million dollars in wrongful death lawsuit
A jury in a Florida wrongful death lawsuit found Domino’s Pizza liable for car accident that left a man paralyzed from the waist down and ultimately resulted in his death. After Richard Wiederhold, a Brevard County fire chief, was hit by a pizza delivery driver, he was left paralyzed, and his wife had to take […]