Alabama doctor who lost his license over a woman’s fatal opioid overdose faces a wrongful death lawsuit

An Alabama doctor whose medical license was permanently revoked after a woman with whom he had a sexual relationship died from an overdose of opioids he administered is facing wrongful death charges, court records say.

Sammy Becdach, an oncologist who worked at the Clearview Cancer Institute in Decatur until the Alabama Medical Licensure Commission revoked his license after a settlement in June, has been sued along with pharmacy Walgreens, which was accused of using Becdach-supplied prescriptions for Katelyn Whitworth , according to the lawsuit filed in Madison County District Court last month.

Efforts to reach out to both Becdach and Walgreens were unsuccessful.

The doctor met Whitworth while visiting a Birmingham steakhouse in early 2017 where Whitworth worked as a hostess, according to Whitworth’s mother Kimberly Shea Goldstein’s lawsuit. Becdach was 49 or 50 at the time, while Whitworth was 18.

Becdach got Whitworth’s phone number when they first met and said he was free to pursue a relationship with her, although he was married at the time and had two children, according to the lawsuit.

From the fall of 2017 to December 2020, Becdach gave Whitworth cash, a credit card, an apartment in Huntsville and other gifts “in exchange for sex,” the lawsuit alleges.

The doctor is also said to have sexually assaulted and raped Whitworth during this time “and continued a pattern and practice of supplying or forcing Whitworth to have controlled substances, including opiates and benzodiazepines, not lawfully prescribed to Whitworth that was not lawfully prescribed.” or which have been forced upon her at times without her consent and/or which have been provided or forced upon Whitworth for reasons other than legitimate medical treatment – namely, for sex with, in exchange for sex with, and for sexual assault and rape, Whitworth” , the suit continued.

As an oncologist at a cancer treatment center, Becdach had easy access to controlled substances and obtained the drugs “through theft, fraudulent prescriptions and/or other illegal and illegitimate means,” according to the lawsuit.

Through his employment, the lawsuit states, the doctor created a “sham doctor-patient relationship with Whitworth to continue his illegal supply of controlled substances, including opiates and benzodiazepines, to Whitworth for him to continue to induce and control through addiction.” ability and dependency”.

From November 2018 to June 2018, Becdach reportedly supplied Whitworth with at least nine prescriptions for controlled substances, including five for opioids, or 200 pills, and four for benzodiazepines, or 250 pills, “over his previous, fraudulent establishment of a patient doctor relationship with Whitworth,” it said in the lawsuit.

Whitworth died on December 18, 2020 from an accidental overdose of fentanyl and morphine.

Goldstein claimed Becdach supplied the morphine that killed Whitworth.

The lawsuit also alleged that Walgreens failed to follow federal, state, and proprietary procedures for dispensing controlled substances.

Both Becdach and Walgreens were accused of negligence, wantonness and recklessness in the lawsuit.

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