Rashid Buttar Sued for Fraud

Stephen Barrett, M.D.


Vincy Tidwell, Jr. of Greensboro, North Carolina, is suing Dr. Rashid Buttar for fraud. Buttar operates the Center for Advanced Medicine and Clinical Research, where he offers "detoxification" and other "integrative therapies" to patients with cancer and other serious diseases. The clinic's Web site states: "Effectively treating patients who the medical community has failed or given up on, by practicing the medicine of the future, today."

Tidwell's complaint (shown below) alleges that through advertisements and other means, Buttar represented that he could help cancer patients. After being diagnosed elsewhere with prostate cancer, he consulted Buttar in 2004 and was treated with chelation, dietary supplements, and many other questionable modalities during the next two years. The suit charges that Buttar violated North Carolina's Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, which permits awards of triple damages. The details are not specified in the complaint, but the total billings were about $150,000. Buttar is chairman of the American Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology, whose members typically use provoked urine testing to diagnose nonexistent "heavy metal toxicity" for which they recommend "detoxification" with chelation therapy.


STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF GUILFORD

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IN THE GENERAL COURT OF JUSTICE
SUPERIOR COURT DIVISION

Vincy Tidwell,

Plaintiff,

Rashid A. Buttar, D.O.,  Sa’buttar Health and medical, p.c., and V-SAB medical Labs, inc. d/b/a The Center for Advanced Medical and Clinical Research,

Defendants.


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Case No. 10-CVS-3641

 

COMPLAINT


NOW COMES the Plaintiff, Vincy Tidwell (hereinafter “Plaintiff”) by and through counsel, and complaining of the Defendants alleges and says as follows:

PARTIES

1. That the Plaintiff is a citizen and resident of the city of Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina.

2. That, on information and belief, the Defendant Rashid A. Buttar, D.O. (hereinafter, “Defendant Buttar”) is a citizen and resident the town of Huntersville, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

3. That, on information and belief, the Defendant V-Sab Medical Labs, Inc. (hereinafter, “Defendant V-Sab”) is and was a domestic North Carolina corporation, maintaining its principal office address at 20721 Torrence Chapel Road, Cornelius, in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

4. That, on information and belief, the Defendant Sa’Buttar Health and Medical, P.C. (hereinafter, “Defendant Sa’Buttar”) is and was a domestic North Carolina corporation, maintaining its principal office address at 20721 Torrence Chapel Road, Cornelius, in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

5. That, at all times pertinent hereinto, Defendant Buttar is and was president and/or CEO of both Defendants V-Sab and Sa’Buttar.

6. That, at all times hereinto pertinent, Defendants V-Sab and Sa’Buttar were doing business, jointly and severally, under the name The Center for Advanced Medical and Clinical Research.

7. That, at all times pertinent hereto The Center for Advanced Medical and Clinical Research (hereinafter “the Facility”) advertised as a facility providing detoxification and healing services, including heavy metal chelation and nutritional therapies, to cancer patients and others, and also sold “dermaceuticals” and other dietary/transdermal supplements to clients.

FACTS

8. That on May 28, 2004, Plaintiff was diagnosed with cancer of the prostate.

9. That on or about July 20, 2004, Plaintiff presented to the Facility and to Defendant Buttar on advisement that services and dietary supplements available through the Facility would have a beneficial effect on him, including improvement of the symptoms of his prostate cancer.

10. That from 2004 through 2006, Plaintiff underwent heavy metal chelation, nutritional monitoring and status reviews at the Facility, which were supervised by Defendant Buttar, his employees, agents and representatives.

11. That from 2004 through 2006, Plaintiff followed nutritional plans and dietary and transdermal supplementation ordered at the Facility, which was supervised by Defendant Buttar, his employees, agents and representatives.

12. That from 2004 through 2006, Plaintiffs purchased and used supplements and dermaceuticals recommended and sold through the Facility, which was supervised by Defendant Buttar, his employees, agents and representatives.

13. That during the period of 2004 through 2006, Plaintiff expended large sums of money for services and supplements recommended and sold by the Defendants through the Facility.

14. That on or about December 2007, Plaintiff learned that the treatment provided by the Facility and Defendant Buttar did not have any curative or improving effect on his cancer and may have ultimately have had a worsening effect.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
(Fraud)

15. Plaintiff repeats and realleges each and every allegation set forth in Paragraphs 1 through 14 as though the same were more fully set forth at length herein.

16. That Defendant Buttar, through his companies Defendants Sa’Buttar and V-Sab, made representations to the public in general and to Plaintiff in particular that The Center for Advanced Medical and Clinical Research offered programs, including heavy metal chelation and dietary assessments, and sold commercial products, including dietary supplements and dermaceuticals, that Defendants represented would cause or aid in a detoxification for the express purpose curing or alleviating diseases and physical ailments, including but not limited to cancers.

17. That Defendant Buttar, through his companies Defendants Sa’Buttar and V-Sab, made the representations described in paragraph 16 above, with full knowledge that the programs and products sold and disseminated by The Center for Advanced Medical and Clinical Research were not approved by any governmental or accredited medical or health group and that these programs and products have been shown to have dubious or deleterious effects on the diseases and other physical conditions for which they were advertised by The Center for Advanced Medical and Clinical Research.

18. That Defendants specifically represented to the Plaintiff that the detoxification programs offered at the Facility, including but not limited to heavy metal chelation and taking dietary supplements and dermaceuticals, would cure or improve his prostate cancer, when the Defendants knew or should have know those representations were false.

19. That Defendants’ false representations to the Plaintiff regarding the Facility’s programs and products were intended to deceive and to induce him to utilize the Facility, to undergo treatments and to purchase and use dietary supplements and dermaceuticals and these representations did induce Plaintiff to use and purchase services and items on a continuing basis through the Defendants’ Facility from 2004 through 2006.

20. That the representations made by the Defendants, relating to the programs and products, were made in the knowledge that those representations were false and fraudulent.

21. That the Plaintiff relied on the Defendants’ representations and this reliance led to his participating in the programs and purchasing and using the products.

22. That Plaintiff, as a direct and proximate result of the fraud perpetrated by the Defendants, did suffer physical and financial injury due to his financial outlay for the programs and products and the delay in appropriate therapies due to his reliance on the Defendants and their representations as to the efficacy of their programs and products.

23. As a direct and proximate result of the aforesaid fraud and injuries sustained as a result thereof, the Plaintiff has become financially obligated for payment of large sums of money for past and future treatment and may continue to do so to his information and belief in the future.

24. That all the Plaintiff’s aforesaid injuries and damages were directly and proximately caused by the fraudulent conduct of the Defendants, whose acts and omissions consisted of the following:

  1. That Defendants falsely represented to Plaintiff that they could cure or [ameliorate*] the Plaintiff’s prostate cancer;
  2. That Defendants falsely represented to Plaintiff that their methods were medically approved, although these methods lacked appropriate testing and credentialing and were not medically approved;
  3. That Defendants falsely represented to Plaintiff that they could supply detoxifications and other services that could cure or [ameliorate*] Plaintiff’s cancer;
  4. That Defendants charged Plaintiff large sums of money for ineffectual and worthless detoxifications and other services;
  5. That Defendants falsely represented to Plaintiff that they could supply “dermaceuticals”, supplements and other products that could cure or [ameliorate*] Plaintiff’s cancer;
  6. That Defendants charged Plaintiff large sums of money for ineffectual and worthless “dermaceuticals”, supplements and other products; and
  7. That Defendant otherwise knowingly made misrepresentations and fraudulent statements, which were intended to mislead the Plaintiff and upon which Plaintiff relied to his detriment.

    *Note: In the filed version of the complaint, paragraphs 24a, c, and used the word "ameliorate" when the attorneys meant to say "exacerbate." To improve readability, I have substituted the correct word. — S. Barrett

25. That as a direct and proximate result of the aforesaid fraud of the Defendants, the Plaintiff has sustained injuries and damages to his person in a sum greater than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00).

SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
(Violation of the Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act - treatments)

26. Plaintiff repeats and realleges each and every allegation set forth in Paragraphs 1 through 25 as though the same were more fully set forth at length herein.

27. That the Facility was run primarily as a commercial, for-profit enterprise, which provided spa services, detoxifications and other programs of no or dubious medical credibility to members of the general public.

28. That the Defendants, through the Facility, did engage in deceptive and unfair practices to the public in general and to the Plaintiff in particular, in advertising, promoting and selling services, treatments and other allegedly “curative” procedures, including but not limited to heavy metal chelation, that were promoted as being able to cure or improve physical conditions including but not limited to cancer in general and prostate cancer in particular, when the Defendants knew or should have known the services, and other procedures had either no effect or a worsening effect on the conditions.

29. That the Defendants’ actions, through the Facility, were in and affecting commerce in that the Defendants advertised and sold the unfair and deceptive services and other procedures to the public for profit, in violation of N.C.G.S. § 75-1.1 et al.

30. That as a direct and proximate cause of the unfair and deceptive practices perpetrated by the Defendants, Plaintiff suffered physical injury and financial damages due to services and procedures he purchased through the Facility and through the related delay in credible and approved treatment of his cancer.

31. As a direct and proximate result of the aforesaid unfair and deceptive practices and injuries and damages sustained as a result thereof, the Plaintiff has become financially obligated for payment of large sums of money for past and future treatment and may continue to do so to his information and belief in the future.

32. That all the Plaintiff’s aforesaid injuries and damages were directly and proximately caused by the unscrupulous, deceptive and wanton conduct of the Defendants, whose acts and omissions consisted of the following:

  1. Advertising and promoting to the general public and to Plaintiff in particular that services, treatments and other procedures, including heavy metal chelation had proven curative properties;
  2. Advertising and promoting to the general public and to the Plaintiff in particular that services, treatments and other procedures, including heavy metal chelation could cure or alleviate cancer;
  3. Providing Plaintiff with services, treatments and other procedures, including heavy metal chelation, that were claimed to have a curative or alleviating effect on the symptoms of prostate cancer;
  4. Providing Plaintiff with services, treatments and other procedures, including heavy metal chelation, that were claimed to have a curative or alleviating effect on Plaintiff’s prostate cancer; and \
  5. Charging Plaintiff high fees for the provision of unfair and deceptive services, treatments and other procedures, including heavy metal chelation.

33. That as a direct and proximate result of the aforesaid violation of the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act by the Defendants, the Plaintiff has sustained injuries and damages to his person in a sum greater than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00).

THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
(Violation of the Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act – dermaceuticals, etc.)

34. Plaintiff repeats and realleges each and every allegation set forth in Paragraphs 1 through 33 as though the same were more fully set forth at length herein.

35. That the Facility was run primarily or partially as a commercial enterprise, which provided and sold dietary supplements, “dermaceuticals,” videos and other resources to persons using the Facility and to members of the general public through the Facility’s website.

36. That the Defendants, through the Facility, did engage in deceptive and unfair practices to the public in general and to the Plaintiff in particular, in advertising, promoting and selling supplements, “dermaceuticals,” educational materials and other materials, that were promoted as being able to cure or improve physical conditions including but not limited to cancer in general and prostate cancer in particular, when the Defendants knew or should have known the services, supplements and other materials had either no effect or a worsening effect of the conditions.

37. That the Defendants’ actions, through the Facility, were in and affecting commerce in that the Defendants advertised and sold the unfair and deceptive products and other materials to the public for profit, in violation of N.C.G.S. § 75-1.1 et al.

38. That as a direct and proximate cause of the unfair and deceptive practices perpetrated by the Defendants, Plaintiff suffered physical injury and financial damages due to products and other materials he purchased through the Facility and through the related delay in credible and approved treatment of his cancer.

39. As a direct and proximate result of the aforesaid unfair and deceptive practices and injuries and damages sustained as a result thereof, the Plaintiff has become financially obligated for payment of large sums of money for past and future treatment and may continue to do so to his information and belief in the future.

40. That all the Plaintiff’s aforesaid injuries and damages were directly and proximately caused by the unscrupulous, deceptive and wanton conduct of the Defendants, whose acts and omissions consisted of the following:

  1. Advertising and promoting to the general public and to Plaintiff in particular that products, including supplements, “dermaceuticals,” educational materials and other materials had proven curative properties;
  2. Advertising and promoting to the general public and to the Plaintiff in particular that products, including supplements, “dermaceuticals,” educational materials and other materials could cure or alleviate cancer;
  3. Providing Plaintiff with products, including supplements, “dermaceuticals,” educational materials and other materials that were claimed to have a curative or alleviating effect on the symptoms of prostate cancer;
  4. Providing Plaintiff with products, including supplements, “dermaceuticals,” educational materials and other materials that were claimed to have a curative or alleviating effect on Plaintiff’s prostate cancer; and
  5. Charging Plaintiff high fees for the provision of unfair and deceptive products, including supplements, “dermaceuticals,” educational materials and other materials.

41. That as a direct and proximate result of the aforesaid violation of the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act by the Defendants, the Plaintiff has sustained injuries and damages to his person in a sum greater than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00).

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment against the Defendants as follows:

  1. That he have and recover of the Defendants a sum greater than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) for fraud;
  2. That he have and recover of the Defendants a sum greater than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) for the violation of the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act;
  3. That he have and recover treble his damages, as permitted in the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act;
  4. That all issues of fact be tried by a jury;
  5. That the costs of this action including attorneys’ fees and interest from the date of filing of this Complaint be taxed against the Defendants; and
  6. For such other and further relief as to the court may seem just and proper.

This the day of February, 2010.

Meg S. Wood
N.C Bar # 29788
Attorney for Plaintiff

OF COUNSEL:

TED A. GREVE & ASSOCIATES
1201 North Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28206
(704) 332-2323

This page was posted on April 15, 2010.

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