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Dr. Tristan Stonger Accused of Trading Pills for Sex and Overprescribing

Steve Wagner

An Indianapolis doctor is alleged to have engaged in a sex-for-drugs relationship with a patient beginning in 2014. The patient began seeing Dr. Tristan Stonger for treatment in 2013, and in the first few months of 2016 alone has already filled 13 prescriptions written by the doctor, including prescriptions for Adderall, Lyrica, Oxycodone, and acetaminophen.

In February, a former staff member from one of Dr. Stonger’s clinics filed a complaint which raised questions about “special” patients whose visits were always much longer and who received more prescriptions than others. In March, one of the patients recorded her appointment, during which the doctor can allegedly be heard asking for a sexual act in the first few minutes of the appointment.

Dr. Stonger is a central Indiana pain management physician with offices in Peru, Bloomington, and Indianapolis. As a result of an investigation by multiple agencies, including the DEA and the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, Dr. Stonger now stands charged with six felonies for dealing in narcotic and controlled substances:

  • Two counts of dealing in a narcotic drug (hydrocodone), a Level 2 Felony;
  • One count of dealing in a narcotic drug (morphine), a Level 5 Felony;
  • Two counts of dealing in a schedule II controlled substance (amphetamine), a Level 6 Felony;
  • One count of dispensing a legend drug illegally (pregabalin), a Level 6 Felony.

Doctor’s Pill Mill Practice May Have Resulted in Patient Deaths

In an unrelated investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raided the pain management clinics of Dr. Stonger in February. The raids were undertaken as part of an investigation into allegations of the doctor overprescribing pain medications, potentially leading to the death of several of his patients. This investigation is ongoing.

Nation-wide, the overdose rates due to opioid painkillers have more than quadrupled over the past ten years. It is clear we are facing an epidemic, and Indiana is smack in the middle of this public health crisis. In 2013, Indiana was ranked 16th for drug overdose deaths, but in 2014, our state was one of 14 to see significant one-year increases. Indiana now ranks 12th for the number of drug overdose deaths in its population. Partly as a result of continued increases in addiction and death, multiple new pieces of legislation aimed at overdose intervention and addiction prevention will go into effect on July 1, 2016.

Wagner Reese Fights For Patient Rights

Wagner Reese shares the concerns of our community and our state. In the past few weeks, we have blogged about the responsibility doctors have to seek alternate options for pain management, as well as their potential liability for addiction and addiction-related patient death.

Most importantly, we have played a role in ensuring dangerous doctors pay the price for causing injury to patients. We have been involved in numerous cases like the one involving Dr. Stonger, and we have represented vulnerable patients who were taken advantage of by doctors. We have successfully pursued wrongful death cases on behalf of families who have needlessly lost loved ones because of doctors who were more concerned with making money than with protecting their patients, and we will continue to fight against the unethical doctors who disregard the health and lives of those they have sworn to protect.

If you or a loved one were a patient of Dr. Stonger and believe his medical practice contributed to injury, addiction, or death, please call the medical malpractice attorneys at Wagner Reese today for a risk-free, no-cost consultation: (888) 204-8440.

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