Office manager says termination result of questioning dentist's prescriptions

David Yates Nov. 13, 2007, 11:39am

A local woman is claiming she was fired from a local dentist's office after raising concerns about the doctor allegedly filling prescriptions for non-patients.

Sherry Kilgore filed suit against Beaumont dentist Michael Jeansonne in the Jefferson County District Court on Nov. 8.

According to her petition, Kilgore worked for Jeansonne, as office manager since April 3, 1991. She claimed Jeansonne, a root canal specialist, had been "extremely satisfied" with her performance until she started to raise concerns about some of the prescriptions he was writing.

Kilgore claims that in March 2007 she received a phone call from one of Jeansonne's business acquaintances, who indicated he needed a prescription for anxiety.

"Kilgore went to discuss this with Jeansonne and verbalized her concerns about the legality of Jeansonne filling such a prescription," the petition states.

In her suit, Kilgore says she questioned Jeansonne's instruction to write and call in the prescription to the pharmacy since Jeansonne's business acquaintance was not, at that time, a patient of record and therefore, prescribing medication would be illegal. In addition, she believed that the type of medication for anxiety that the person had requested would not normally be prescribed for dental purposes.

When Kilgore raised her concerns, the office manager says Jeansonne became very irritated with her comments and told her to "just go fill it," the suit said. Kilgore says she then called in the prescription at Jeansonne's order.

Kilgore alleges that on another occasion, she received a call from a pharmacy inquiring about a pain prescription Jeansonne had written for a patient. Kilgore says the pharmacist expressed concerns to her because the patient had refilled the prescription multiple times.

"The pharmacist questioned Kilgore if, in fact, Jeansonne had actually written these prescriptions because they were so excessive and that these so-called patients were in his pharmacy weekly," the suit said. "Kilgore indicated to Jeansonne that the pharmacy was on the phone questioning if these excessive prescriptions were…legitimate.

Kilgore claims she questioned the validity and legality of the prescriptions and expressed to Jeansonne a concern for potential legal repercussions.

"Kilgore refused to authorize the pharmacist to refill the prescription and turned the call over to Jeansonne," the original petition states.

Kilgore's final accusation against the dentist alleges that Jeansonne falsified and altered a patient's record to avoid a medical-malpractice lawsuit.

She says Jeansonne received a certified letter from a local attorney representing a previous patient who was going to file a malpractice suit against Jeansonne. In a discussion with Kilgore, Jeansonne allegedly told her he planned to re-dictate the patient's records and write-up a new report to avoid liability.

"Thereafter, Jeansonne did re-dictate this patient's records and on July 26, 2007, he asked Kilgore to write a new report for this patient. Kilgore voiced her concerns…however, Jeansonne demanded that Kilgore write a new report," the suit states.

When she refused, Kilgore says she was fired the next day.

"On July 27, 2007, Jeansonne demanded that Kilgore appear at the office on her day off," the suit said. "Jeansonne indicated that if she didn't show up she would be in 'really big' trouble. Upon her arrival, Jeansonne berated, belittled, humiliated and screamed at Kilgore in front of her co-workers with allegations and accusations that Kilgore had been communicating with the Drug Enforcement Administration in connection with his dental practice activities and authorization of prescriptions.

After the public berating, Kilgore claims Jeansonne proceeded to throw a cellular phone, tape recorder and Diet Coke can at her. She says she attempted to leave, but the dentist stopped her and began to "physically assault and inflict bodily injury on Kilgore," the suit said.

"Jeansonne lunged at Kilgore and forcefully grabbed her and yanked her arm and ripped her jacket," the suit said. "Jeansonne then grabbed a drink out of her hand and proceeded to throw it at her hitting her in the chest. Jeansonne' s physical assault left visible bruises on Plaintiff Kilgore' s arm."

Kilgore is suing for all actual, compensatory, incidental, consequential and reliance damages, back pay, emotional pain and mental anguish, injury and all court costs.

She is demanding a trial by jury and is represented by Wilka Toppins of The Toppins & Shaneour Law Firm, P.C.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. B180-729

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