On May 15, 2015, a federal jury in Boston acquitted Dr. Joseph Zolot and Nurse Lisa Pliner on all 8 counts of alleged violations of federal drug distribution laws and conspiracy. Dr. Zolot was represented by Todd & Weld attorneys Howard M. Cooper, Benjamin J. Wish, and Hillary A. Lehmann.
Dr. Zolot was a Needham, Massachusetts based pain medicine physician whose office was raided by the Government in May 2007, after which he was indicted on multiple counts of unlawfully prescribing opioids such as OxyContin, Fentanyl and Methadone to patients. Nurse Pliner was accused of being part of the drug dealing operation. A first trial resulted in a hung jury, after which the United States Attorney Carmen Ortiz made the decision to retry the case.
"My sincere hope is that doctors hearing about this verdict will realize that they should not be intimidated by the federal government in prescribing pain medication to their patients who are suffering in chronic pain," said Dr. Zolot after the verdict. "There are patients who suffer because doctors are afraid to treat them because they fear discipline or prosecution. That hurts the patient. I am grateful to the jury for seeing the importance of this case."
"I am thrilled for Dr. Zolot and in awe of the strength he has displayed for 8 years through 2 trials in order to be vindicated. He has never waivered in his innocence and his belief that patients are entitled to the treatment they need for their pain. The jury's verdict reflects their thoughtful understanding of the difficult practice of pain medicine and the treatment of chronic pain," said Dr. Zolot's attorney, Howard M. Cooper.