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Family of woman who died of overdose sues embattled doctor for $2M in Wise County court

Agents with the Virginia State Police along with federal investigators were seen going in and out of the Coeburn Medical Center on Center Street beside of Town Hall back in 2017. (PHOTO: T. Richardson / Special to News 5)

The family of a woman they say died of an overdose in 2017 has filed a $2 million wrongful death lawsuit against a Wise County-based doctor.

According to court documents, Cassandra Leigh Hill died of an overdose on January 11, 2017, and that the overdose was from medications prescribed by Gurcharan Singh Kanwal.

Kanwal pleaded guilty in 2017 to federal health care fraud and drug distribution charges after he prescribed Ritalin and hydrocodone to an undercover investigator without a legitimate medical purpose. As part of a plea agreement, Kanwal agreed to surrender his medical license and never reapply for one. He also agreed to pay $472,500 in restitution to the Virginia Medicaid program.

In the lawsuit Kunwal currently faces, he is accused of prescribing multiple medications to Hill, including Klonopin and Naproxen, which the lawsuit says can cause respiratory distress, especially when combined Buprenorphine.

Other defendants in the case include Coeburn Hospital Clinic, Inc., Watauga Recovery Center, Wytheville, PC, and Watauga Recovery Centers.

The Coeburn facility was raided by state and federal agents in 2017.

The lawsuit claimed that, "Ms. Hill's death was directly and proximately caused by the breach of duty of care Dr. Kanwal owed to her."

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