PDT Staff Writer
Attorney General Mike DeWine is praising the Franklin County Court’s judgment this week affirming the revocation of the state medical license of James E. Lundeen Sr., who formerly operated in Portsmouth, on appeal.
Last December, the Ohio State Medical Board voted to permanently revoke his medical license following the recommendation of a hearing examiner who found that Lundeen was overprescribing medication to patients at his offices in Portsmouth and Plymouth. The Attorney General’s Office has been involved in the investigation and represented the Ohio State Medical Board at the license hearing and the appeal.
Investigators from the Attorney General’s Office, Bureau of Workers Compensation, the State Highway Patrol and other agencies raided Lundeen’s offices in downtown Portsmouth and Plymouth in March 2011. The State Medical Board suspended Lundeen’s medical license based on the finding that Lundeen’s continued practice presented a danger to the public.
At Lundeen’s original hearing before the State Medical Board, the examiners dealt with 26 of Lundeen’s patients and in the finding, those patients were listed by number. For example, the report said patient 10 came to Lundeen with back sprain in February of 2006 and was prescribed Percocet, Flexoril and Feldene, and at his last visit Lundeen was prescribing Magnacet, Dilaudid, Duragesic, Xanax, Flexeril, Triavil, Ambien and Feldene.
Dr. John W. Cunningham, who testified at the hearing, said there appeared to be no medical reason for the substantial increase in patient 10’s narcotics. Patient 22, who had attempted suicide, and who had admitted he had taken someone else’s Methadone, was prescribed Percocet and Neurontin. Lundeen then reportedly added prescriptions for Dilaudid, Xanax and Cymbalta. That patient reportedly was not examined.
Lundeen appealed to the Franklin County Common Pleas Court on at least four assignments of error, several times attempting to impeach Cunningham’s testimony. In the end, Judge Laurel A. Beatty, upheld the revocation of Lundeen’s license by the State Medical Board, ruling: “For the foregoing reasons, the court finds that the Board’s order is supported by reliable, probative and substantial evidence, and is in accordance with the law.The Board’s order is affirmed. This is a final appealable order. Costs to appellant.”
“Ridding the state of ‘pill mills’ and doctors who enable them is a priority for me, the governor, and law enforcement throughout Ohio,” DeWine said. “We will continue our efforts to shut down these operations.”
DeWine led the shutting down of Scioto County’s last pain clinic in Wheelersburg in December of 2011.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org