Nearly three years have passed since officials conducted a “raid” on a Florida cosmetic surgery office, where patients unknowingly underwent procedures by unlicensed personnel. As to be expected, these procedures were often horribly “botched,” with one woman receiving a breast enlargement when she sought a reduction and another forced to have her belly button removed – just a sample from the botched procedures of over 50 victims/plaintiffs.
One woman witnessed her surgeon “begin to eat lunch” after making the first incision, tell her to reposition herself mid-procedure, and later to “toughen up” after she complained of pain. Health and Beauty Cosmetic Surgery Center in Palm Beach was shut down in February 2014. Monica Daza and her husband Juan Pinzon were arrested alongside colleagues Jorge Alarcon and William Marrocco. Daza and Pinzon entered a Not Guilty plea. Marrocco was the only licensed physician among them, with Alarcon and Pinzon alleging that they were licensed in their native Colombia. All parties faced charges for unlicensed practice of health care profession causing serious bodily injury. Scrutiny of Marrocco’s surgical record showed that his own wife died in 2003 after he assisted in her liposuction surgery.
Daza and Pinzon were listed as “surgical assistants” on the Center’s website, an essentially ‘bogus’ title for which there is no special licensing, recognition or regulation in Florida. New rounds of charges were added as women came forward in droves with evidence of injuries after receiving care from the Center. At the time bail was set at $75,000 for each individual charged.
The Center offered surgical procedures priced from $3,000 to $8,000, which often required second and third visits to ameliorate the outcomes, leaving lingering pain and scars for many of the women operated on. A plastic surgeon at another center is said to have tipped off authorities, after taking in over 40 women who had previously undergone procedures at Health And Beauty.
Now three years later, some degree of closure for victims comes in the form of Daza’s sentencing, while her former business partners still await theirs. Daza was ordered to pay $75,000 in restitution and spend 1 year in prison. The severity of punishment the three men may receive remains to be seen, and given the nature of the legal system, it could take another few years before they are sentenced.
This is not the first recorded incident of unlicensed plastic surgery practice in greater southern Florida. The same year as this incident, a woman was arrested in Boca Raton for providing botox lip injections in her basements with no license to do so.
Dispensing either unlicensed or negligent healthcare is an extremely serious matter. If you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence of a healthcare provider, you may consider taking legal action to receive compensation for your hardship. For experienced legal counsel in Pennsylvania, Maryland, or Washington, D.C., call the office of trial attorneys Charles Gilman and Briggs Bedigian today at (800) 529-6162 or contact them online.