Dr. Virind GuptaSARASOTA COUNTY - Dr. Virind Gupta prescribed 530 oxycodone pills over the course of 45 days to 29-year-old Michael Chrzczonowski, who died after overdosing on oxycodone and Xanax.
Michael Chrzczonowski, above, died of a drug overdose. His mother blames Dr. Virind Gupta. Gupta said he did nothing wrong and will clear his name.
Now Chrzczonowski's mother, Sandra, is suing Gupta and the pharmacy that sold her son the drugs, blaming them for his death.
Sandra Chrzczonowski said she is not denying her son had an addiction and abused prescription medicine. But she has heard of other addicts who would go to Gupta's office on Bee Ridge Road until late in the evening, just like her son did.
"Word on the street was, you need what you need, this is the guy you go to," Sandra Chrzczonowski said. "The community should be alerted to the type of doctor we have in our community.
"It's just not right. It's not an ethical practice, in my opinion."
Gupta said Tuesday in a telephone interview that he did nothing wrong and he will fight the lawsuit to clear his name.
"The guy stole medicine from his girlfriend and overdosed on his girlfriend's medicine, and they're coming after me," Gupta said. "Anybody can sue anybody in this country. I have lawyers and I'll take care of it."
Michael Chrzczonowski's previous doctor, who treated him for injuries from a car crash, saw an increasing use of the drugs and declined to prescribe any more, Sandra Chrzczonowski said.
Her son went to a drug rehabilitation program. But Chrzczonowski relapsed 18 months later and began to visit Gupta's office on Bee Ridge Road.
Michael Chrzczonowski met his girlfriend, Allana Davis, at the office, and he did some carpentry work for the doctor, his mother said.
Less than a year later, he died from an overdose of prescription drugs.
Sandra Chrzczonowski's lawsuit accuses Gupta of not closely monitoring the excessive dosages he prescribed, and also states that neither did Bee Ridge Pharmacy.
Medical records show Gupta increased Chrzczonowski's dosages as he continued to report pain in his leg, and Chrzczonowski started to experience common side effects of oxycodone, including chronic anxiety and insomnia, the lawsuit says.
Gupta continued to prescribe oxycodone to Chrzczonowski and added a prescription of Xanax to treat his anxiety. A medical examiner determined Chrzczonowski's cause of death as an overdose of those two drugs.
The suit records also show the doctor and the pharmacist continued to sell prescription
drugs to Chrzczonowski after he was arrested on a drug charge in 2007. The arrest was three weeks before his overdose.