GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A magistrate recently recommended that summary judgment be awarded to a defendant in the case of a cosmetic surgeon who accused a doctor at a substance abuse recovery center of making false or misleading statements.
On March 7, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Gainesville Division, accepted Magistrate Judge Gary R. Jones' report and recommendation and granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of Dr. Scott Teitelbaum after the court found he did not make any false or misleading statements to his patient, Dr. Christina Paylan, when she visited the Florida Recovery Center for a substance abuse evaluation.
Paylan accused Teitelbaum of violating her civil rights by fabricating evidence, violating the Marchman Act and unlawfully searching and seizing her property during her visit.
The Marchman Act, officially known as the Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act of 1993, allows for the involuntary treatment of anyone abusing drugs or alcohol in Florida.
Paylan was arrested June 9, 2011, for allegedly trafficking in illegal drugs, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a drug without a prescription, which led to an investigation by the Florida Department of Health. Afterward, Paylan was ordered to withdraw from the practice of medicine and undergo a substance abuse evaluation.
She arrived at the Florida Recovery Center Aug. 1, 2011, around 2 a.m. When she arrived, a staff member searched her belongings and took her cell phone, iPad, keys, and other personal items. She also submitted a urine test, which she failed.
Paylan said Teitelbaum wrote three false reports about their interactions, fabricated evidence that led to her losing her medical license, solicited another doctor to submit a false report, and used fabricated evidence and false reports to institute a Marchman Act despite the fact that statutory criteria were not met.
Teitelbaum argued he was interacting with Paylan not pursuant to any power he possessed by state authority and, instead, was an independent examiner.
The judge's report noted that Paylan's allegations were "merely coincidental" and did not violate her federal or constitutional rights.