Dr. Stella Immanuel, backed by President Trump over her unfounded claims that hydroxychloroquine cures coronavirus, was sued for medical malpractice over the death of a patient, according to a new report.
The Houston Chronicle, citing court documents, said Immanuel was sued by the Louisiana family of Leslie Norvell, who died in February 2019. Her relatives claimed the woman died from a massive infection after the physician failed to heed Norvell's complaint that a needle she used to inject meth had broken off in her arm.
The lawsuit also claims that Immanuel and another doctor at a Louisiana facility prescribed medication, but didn't investigate the woman's arm, or alert authorities, the paper said Wednesday.
Norvell went home after visiting Immanuel, but went to a hospital later after experiencing severe pain, the suit said. The needle fragment was removed, but Norvell died from a massive infection caused by the embedded needle, the suit said, according to the paper.
Immanuel faced widespread criticism from health experts after she promoted the malaria drug as a COVID-19, claiming she gave it to 350 coronavirus patients who didn't die.
Trump, who endorses the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, praised Immanuel last week, saying "I was very impressed with her and other doctors that stood with her.
"I think she made sense, but I know nothing about her," he continued.
Social media removed Immanuel's COVID-19 claims, saying they spread misinformation about virus treatments. Federal regulators revoked their authorization of the drug last month as an emergency treatment after medical evidence mounted that it doesn't work and can cause deadly side effects.
Norvell's family said they were unable to serve Immanuel with their lawsuit in April because they were unaware that she had moved to Texas, the Chronicle reported. A person who answered the phone Wednesday at Immanuel's Texas office said she was out of town, the paper reported.
She has no documented disciplinary actions or complaints against her in Texas or Louisiana, where she was first licensed in 1998.
Immanuel had also asserted on social media it was not necessary to wear masks or social distance, which contradicts medical evidence, to avoid the coronavirus.