Pain Killers: Getting off is hard to do...

L.A.’s “Walking Man” Found dead, was under investigation


A doctor and neighborhood fixture found dead in his hot tub this week was under investigation in connection with his treatment of a patient who overdosed on the prescription drug Oxycontin, authorities said.

Marc Abrams, the doctor known as the “walking man” for his long, shirtless strolls around Silver Lake, died Wednesday. His death is being investigated as a potential suicide, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Abrams, 58, was the subject of a series of undercover investigations following the death of a 25-year-old patient who was prescribed the powerful painkiller Oxycontin, a law enforcement official told the Los Angeles Times for Saturday’s edition. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the case, said officers posing as patients were able to easily get prescription medications from Abrams based on fake notes signed with names including “Dr. Kevorkian,” “Dr. Pepper” and “Dr. Dre.”

Abrams kept nighttime office hours and “catered to nothing but addicts,” the official told the Times. Police served a search warrant on Abrams’ office in North Hollywood in 2009, seizing patient files and other records, according to law enforcement officials.

No charges had been filed against Abrams. His lawyer said the doctor was “a fine physician with an impeccable record” and did nothing wrong.

Attorney Michael A. Zuk told the Times he had no knowledge of any criminal investigation and had not spoken with or been contacted by to any law enforcement agency on Abrams’ behalf.

The investigation was launched following the October 2008 death of 25-year-old Joseph Garcia, who died of an accidental overdose of Oxycontin. Other drugs also were found in his system.

Garcia’s mother, Lori, filed a wrongful death claim against Abrams last year, alleging that he was professionally negligent in prescribing drugs that resulted in the overdose. Garcia’s lawyer, Robert Gibson, said law enforcement officials from “multiple” agencies had contacted her about the criminal investigation surrounding her son’s death.

Abrams confirmed to the coroner’s investigator that he had seen Garcia about 7 p.m. the night before his death and had prescribed him Roxicodone, a version of oxycodone, and Soma, a muscle relaxant. He said Garcia had a history of back pain from an injury.

Abrams’ widow, Cindy, did not respond to a request for comment.

Written by Larry C. - Visit Website
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