NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The manslaughter trial against a Queens pain-management doctor accused of pushing pain pills is drawing to an end as prosecutors’ summations continued Thursday.
As WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported, prosecutor Peter Kougasian focused on the death of one patient, Joseph Hague, who saw Dr. Stan Li for less than a year before he died.
Prosecutors Offer Closing Arguments In Manslaughter Trial Against Queens Doctor Stan Li
In that time prosecutors claim Hague completely transformed from a healthy, robust outdoorsman complaining of an old back injury to a disheveled derelict — skin gray, eyes glassy, and speech slurred.
Hague was so addicted to the painkillers Li supplied that his sister had testified she barely recognized him, Cornell reported.
Kougasian told the jury the tragic ending of Hague’s life was entirely foreseeable, Cornell reported.
On Wednesday, Li’s defense attorney Raymond Belair said during closing arguments there was a legitimate reason why Li continued to prescribe addictive painkillers to patients he knew were taking too many pills, were doctor shopping, were depressed or suicidal, or who had overdosed in the past. “Because their pain had not gone away,” the lawyer said.
A pill pusher, Belair argued, doesn’t care about his patients. Li, he insisted, acted in good faith.
Prosecutors, however, portrayed Li as a drug dealer with a medical degree, alleging up to 100 patients a day would visit his weekend-only Flushing office. Visits would take about five minutes each, and patients would pay $100 in cash before walking out with prescriptions for oxycodone and other powerful painkillers, Li’s former secretary testified.
Li is charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and criminal sale and possession of narcotics.
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