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Doctor sued for medical negligence

Two lawsuits against a former doctor who practiced in Morgantown were filed in Monongalia County Circuit Court this week.

Both suits name Felix Brizuela as the defendant. Both plaintiffs, Diana DeWitt and David Cady, are represented by John Angotti, David Straface and Chad Groome.

Brizuela was an osteopathic doctor who operated Felix Brizuela, D.O., PLLC, in the Suncrest Towne Centre, according to the suits filed Wednesday.

Brizuela was convicted of 15 counts of distribution of a controlled substance outside the bounds of professional medical practice by a federal jury in January 2019. He is serving a four-year prison sentence.

Cady was seen by Brizuela for a condition and was told he had CIDP, a rare condition that occurs at a rate of roughly one to nine people per 100,000, the suit said. Brizuela told Cady he would need IVIG — a blood product prepared from the serum of between 1,000 and 15,000 donors — therapy for the rest of his life.

In November 2013, Cady had surgery to install a port in his chest to receive the IVIG treatments, after already receiving the treatment at home for several months. Over time, the frequency of the treatment, which costs thousands of dollars each, increased from every two weeks to every 10 days, according to the suit.

In 2015, Cady saw a doctor at WVU, who questioned Brizuela’s diagnosis. Cady told Brizuela this and was told to continue the IVIG treatments, which he did.

In late 2017, another doctor advised Cady the IVIG treatment could cause complications with his immune system and said he should stop the treatments and see how he felt, according to the suit. Cady tried to wean himself off the treatment and drove to Brizuela’s Connellsville, Pa., office because the Morgantown one was then closed.

In January 2018, Cady learned of Brizuela’s indictment and later that month WVU confirmed Cady was not suffering from CIDP.

Cady’s suit accuses Brizuela of medical negligence, lack of informed consent, fraud, breach of contract and more. It seeks damages for Cady’s injuries, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and interest.

DeWitt was also wrongly diagnosed with CIPD, was wrongly fitted with a chest port for IVIG treatments and took IVIG treatments for years, according to her suit.

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