The estate of Jeremy Parker last week sued the anti-vaccination, right-wing group America’s Frontline Doctors for alleged wrongful death. Dr. Medina Culver, an osteopathic physician and Instagram influencer based in Henderson, Nevada, is also named in the case. The lawsuit alleges negligence by the group and Culver for the death of Parker last year.
“Based on information provided by America’s Frontline Doctors, Mr. Parker became convinced, along with several of his co-workers, that hydroxychloroquine was an effective treatment for COVID-19,” the suit alleges. “On or about August 26, 2021, Mr. Parker had a telemedicine visit with Dr. Culver, at which time Dr. Culver prescribed Mr. Parker with hydroxychloroquine and/or ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment or ‘preventative therapy.’ Dr. Culver never performed a physical examination of Mr. Parker.”
According to the suit, Parker developed cold-like symptoms in late January of 2022. His body was found Feb. 3, 2022. The Washoe County coroner listed Parker’s cause of death as “sudden in the setting of therapeutic use of hydroxychloroquine.”
Parker’s family is seeking damages in excess of $30,000.
A retired University of Nevada, Reno medical school professor submitted a statement as part of the lawsuit.
“Hydroxychloroquine is a medication approved by the FDA for the treatment of malaria and some autoimmune diseases. It is not approved for the treatment or prevention of Covid-19,” Dr. Robert Bruce Bannister wrote. “Serious cardiac rhythm disturbances are known adverse reactions when taking hydroxychloroquine and the presence of certain cardiac rhythm/cycle variants are noted contraindications and reasons to be cautious when prescribing hydroxychloroquine.”
He further said Parker’s death may have been prevented “if Dr. Culver had performed a more thorough evaluation including a physical exam to evaluate his heart function, a blood pressure measurement, and an EKG to ensure he did not have an abnormality…”
Former President Donald Trump in early 2020 pushed hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, reporting U.S. Food and Drug Administration data, showed that adverse effects from taking the drug then skyrocketed and more than 100 people died in the first half of 2020. The FDA cautioned at the time against taking hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19.
Congress mid-pandemic also investigated America’s Frontline Doctors for peddling misleading information about COVID-19 treatments, including hydroxychloroquine.
“AFLDS and SpeakWithAnMD.com have used social media to spread misinformation about the coronavirus and facilitate access to discredited coronavirus treatments throughout the pandemic,” a house subcommittee press release noted.
Its founder was sentenced to 60 days in prison on federal charges for her participation in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection.
More recently, Reno attorney, election denier and failed governor candidate, Joey Gilbert, is suing the group alleging its CEO used money from the organization to purchase a $3.6 million home in Florida.
The CEO in January blamed Gilbert for fraud and accused him of defamation.
America’s Frontline Doctors’ spokesperson did not comment on the case.
“We are unaware of any lawsuit filed against AFLDS,” Lisa Alexander said, despite being provided a copy of the complaint.
This Is Reno was unsuccessful in reaching Culver for comment.
UPDATE 2/9/23: This story as updated to include a copy of the complaint and to add the nonresponse from America’s Frontline Doctors.
Disclosure: The plaintiff attorney, Luke Busby, is representing This Is Reno in two public records cases against the city of Reno. He would not comment for this story.