'Candy Man' Drug Doctor Faces New Suit For Overprescribing Pain Meds

By Paul Gaita 01/15/14

Doctor Julio Diaz was previously arrested in 2012 following a DEA investigation into the fatal overdose deaths of 11 patients.

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Diaz being arrested by federal agents. Photo via

Santa Barbara doctor Julio Diaz, who was arrested by federal agents in 2012 for his role in the overdose deaths of 11 patients, faces a new lawsuit claiming that he overprescribed high levels of medication to the plaintiff which resulted in her addiction to drugs.

California resident Courtney Canter claims in the suit that Diaz – nicknamed the “Candy Man” due to his willingness to prescribe high dosages of pain medication to patients – placed her on a pain management regimen that consisted of increasingly high dosages of highly addictive medication without monitoring or reassessing Canter’s treatment. Her suit also alleged that after suffering traumatic brain injuries from a fall down a flight of stairs, Diaz refused to initiate a step-down regimen from the medication despite clear-cut evidence of drug abuse and addiction that eventually required hospitalization, a detox program, and rehabilitation. Canter’s suit also names three pharmacy chains – Walgreen’s, CVS Caremark, and Long’s Drug Stores – for failing to determine whether the drugs were “filled for a legitimate medical purpose and were not being dispensed to an addict.”

Diaz’s history of overprescribing medication reaches back to 2009, when Santa Barbara doctors and a registered nurse sent a letter to the medical board stating that he had developed a reputation as a “doctor you can get anything from” by patients seeking oxycontin, methadone, Xanax, and other addictive prescriptions, often for complaints as mundane as menstrual cramps. That same year, several parents also filed a complaint stating that Diaz not only provided cheap and easily available prescription medication to children and young adults, but also increased the dosage when these patients complained that the drugs had lost their effectiveness.

An investigation by DEA agents into the fatal overdose deaths of 11 of Diaz’s patients between 2006 and 2011 led to his arrest in January 2012 on charges of drug trafficking.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.