Bias attorneys ask for exclusion of terms

May 1, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Attorneys for former Portsmouth pain clinic operator Tracy Bias made a motion to have U.S. District Court Judge Michael R. Barrett “preclude inadmissible hearsay and the use of certain derogatory terms.”

Bias and six doctors were initially indicted in April 2012 in a 12-count indictment alleging that they operated three pain clinics in southern Ohio between January 2009 and June 2011. The pain clinics were Southern Ohio Complete Pain Management and Portsmouth Medical Solutions in Portsmouth and Trinity Medical Care in Columbus. Later Attorney Steven E. Hillman, 67, of Dublin, Ohio, was charged with money laundering in connection with a case titled: U.S.A. Vs. Bias et al.

Now Bias’ attorneys are asking the court to have the prosecutor refrain from attempting to introduce what they refer to as “inadmissible hearsay by eliciting testimony that any government witnesses were told by others that the physicians of Southern Ohio Complete Pain Management, Portsmouth Medical Solutions, and/or Trinity Medical Center, would prescribe controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose.”

In addition, defense attorneys are asking the court to preclude terms such as “pill mill,” “script clinic,” “drug house,” “script doctor,” “hillbilly heroin,” “killer,” “coffin,” or any other pejorative terms when referring to the controlled substances at issue, and from using terms such as “customers,” and/or “clients,” when referring to any clinic patients.

It will be up to Barrett to rule on the motion. Meanwhile, according to the court docket, the trial of Tracy Bias, Marcellus Gilreath, James Lassiter and Steven Hillman — all named in the indictment — is scheduled to begin on June 24 and expected to take about six weeks.

The indictment says customers allegedly traveled hundreds of miles to the clinics in central and southern Ohio where, for a cash payment of approximately $200 per office visit and with little or no physical examination, clinic customers would receive excessive amounts of “cocktails” of controlled substances including diazepam, hydrocodone, oxycodone and alprazalam.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.