AKRON, Ohio -- An Akron doctor who specialized in pain management is being accused of negligence and of sexually abusing his patients.
A jury recently ordered the pain clinic at which James Bressi was on staff -- Summit Pain Specialists -- to pay $3 million to a patient who was paralyzed after being treated by Bressi.
The lawyer representing that patient calls Summit Pain Specialists a "pill mill."
In 2010, the pain clinic moved from Cuyahoga Falls Hospital to a medical office building owned by Akron General Hospital.
The clinic is not affiliated with Akron General, though the exterior signs can be misleading.
Another lawsuit against Summit Pain Specialists alleges that Bressi engaged in sexual misconduct with eight female patients.
It goes on to say that those who worked for the pain clinic, including co-owner Dr. Robert Geiger, were notified of this and "by failing to intervene to prevent this ongoing contact, also failed to protect the women."
In a report filed with the Stow Police Department, one patient said she was raped in an attack that left bruises on her stomach.
Two other patients of Dr. James Bressi say he engaged in masturbation, using the patient.
Bressi stopped seeing patients in March. His name has been removed from the sign outside the Summit Pain Specialists office.
Neither Bressi nor Geiger would comment on the allegations.
Dave Motz is the patient who sued the Summit Pain Clinic for negligence and won. Motz suffered from chronic back pain and went to the clinic for relief of his pain.
Instead, a series of shots made the pain worse.
"They did one," says Motz's attorney, Dennis Lansdowne. "He got no relief. They said, 'Come back.' They did another one. Got no relief. They said, 'Come back.'
"Finally they did the third and they paralyzed him."
As Motz puts it, "It was the most sickening feeling I ever had. I was crying."
After that third shot, he felt nothing from the waist down. He still doesn't.
His life changed dramatically -- for the worse. Now he is 60 and confined to a wheelchair. He depends on constant daily care from his wife.
Lansdowne questions the quality of the care that the clinic was or is able to provide, based on the number of patients seen there each day.
"When you're running 200 people a day through a clinic with three doctors, somebody is going to get hurt," he says.
That somebody was Dave Motz.
"I never got the feeling back in my leg," Motz says. "There is no recovery."
The $3 million he was awarded by a jury is money he will use to pay for a wheelchair ramp, a stair lift, medicine, and home health care.
"They rendered him a paraplegic, and they didn't do anything for his pain," says Lansdowne. "He's left with paralysis and the pain he went to get treated for in the first place."
Another lawyer who is suing the pain clinic says as many as 18 women have complained to police about Dr. Bressi.
According to the lawsuit, Bressi "engaged in conduct which was outrageous and would shock the conscience of a normal individual."
The Stow police chief declined comment, saying its investigation is ongoing.
Interestingly, while Summit Pain is accused of operating as a pill mill, Bressi served on an advisory board to state lawmakers who drafted new regulations that crack down on pain clinics that serve as pill mills.