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[Dr. Heberle's] Trial Becomes Battle Of Experts
 

 
Ed Palattella
; Erie Times-News (PA); Last changed: 2006-05-16. Posted: 2006-05-27
[Identifier: http://www.doctordeluca.com/Library/WOD/WPS10-Erie/HeberleBattleOfExperts06.htm]
[Source: http://www.goerie.com/]
Related resources:  Drug War Journalism and Advocacy Library
 
 
See also:
WAR ON PAIN SUFFERERS collection #10: Erie - Klees Imprisoned, Heberle Exonerated, Pain Patients Abandoned
 
WAR ON PAIN SUFFERERS special collections - Introduction and Table of Contents

War on Doctors/Pain Crisis blog and RSS feed
 
Heberle Vindicated! - DeLuca; blog entry; 2007-04-14
 


The trial of an Erie doctor accused of violating state drug laws continues to be a case of doctor vs. doctor.

For the third consecutive court session on Monday, the prosecution's expert witness scrutinized reasons the defendant, Dr. Paul Heberle, D.O., wrote prescriptions to 15 patients.

And for the third session in a row, Heberle's attorney tried to undermine the expert witness' answers.

The jury was left to figure out whose explanations have more credibility.

The state Attorney General's Office is alleging Heberle illegally overprescribed painkillers such as fentanyl and OxyContin.

Heberle and his attorney, John Moore, are arguing Heberle did nothing wrong, and that he properly took into account his patients' medical histories and other issues before prescribing the powerful drugs.

The two sides tried to reinforce their arguments Monday through the questioning of Dr. August Mantia, M.D., a pain specialist from Pittsburgh who is an expert witness for the prosecution.

Moore cross-examined Mantia by reviewing each patient's file one at a time. In one case, Mantia said Heberle, in his estimation, should have better understood a patient's struggles with alcoholism before prescribing her drugs.

Under cross-examination, Mantia said he did not know, until Moore told him, that the woman worked in Heberle's office and that he leased an apartment to her.

Moore contended Heberle could closely monitor the woman's condition because of his close contact with her. And he presented evidence that Heberle had a clause in the lease that the woman had to remain sober for her to stay in the apartment.

Moore asked Mantia if knowing that information would have affected his evaluation of Heberle's treatment of that patient.

"I would have considered it, "Mantia said.

The defense is expected to present expert witnesses of its own as Heberle's trial continues this week in the courtroom of Judge William R. Cunningham..

Heberle, 40, faces 15 counts of violating state drug laws and 13 counts of Medicaid fraud. He is accused of illegally prescribing narcotics to 15 patients, according to court records.

[END]

 

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Alexander DeLuca, M.D.

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Originally posted: 2006-05-27

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