The news just keeps getting worse for Missouri state lawmaker Patricia Derges, who was indicted last year by the feds for an alleged stem cell scheme. She is now also being sued by a former patient.
Derges, who is not a physician but rather an assistant physician, was providing supposed stem cell or related biological materials to customers.
Patricia Derges, the “stem cells”, & indictment
Derges was indicted for what the feds termed stem cell “fraud“. From the DOJ:
“This investigation began as a result of false or misleading statements made by Derges in April 2020 to a Springfield television station regarding her potential use of stem cells to treat COVID-19. Derges was elected in November 2020 as a Missouri state representative in District 140 (Christian County). Derges, who is not a physician but is licensed as an assistant physician, operates three Ozark Valley Medical Clinic locations in Springfield, Ozark, and Branson, Mo.”
It seems what she was selling was actually amniotic fluid “treatments” obtained from the University of Utah. The university reportedly had indicated there were no stem cells in the fluid.
The patient lawsuit
In the recently filed lawsuit, patient Thomas D’Alessandro has sued Derges for alleged medical negligence. D’Alessandro alleges that Derges was using “a fake stem-cell treatment to alleviate lower back pain.”
The new suit includes Derges’ husband Daniel Derges as a defendant too as well as their clinic Ozark Valley Medical Clinic. From the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
“…in his lawsuit, D’Alessandro says she held herself out as a doctor during a presentation to potential patients about stem-cell treatments.
“At the presentation, defendant Patricia Derges gave the impression to participants that she was a licensed physician and that her clinic provided ‘stem cell’ injections capable of treating, among other things, chronic pain,” the lawsuit notes.
After two rounds of injections costing more than $6,000, D’Alessandro said there was no improvement in his back pain.”
It’s hard to imagine there would be any improvement from just the fluid.
I’m not an attorney, but it seems that the patient lawsuit could be impacted by how the federal trial proceeds.
That trial starts in just a few weeks and may only last a matter of days. Apparently Derges turned down possible plea agreements.
In many similar clinic cases filed by former patients, the provider has eventually settled and there have been confidentiality agreements. That makes it harder to understand what happened.
Often malpractice insurance has covered at least parts of the settlements.
We’ll see what happens here.