"During the course of the psychiatrist/patient alleged therapeutic relationship between defendant Weitzel and plaintiff, defendant Weitzel is believed to have used illegal and patient drugs, and converted drugs from plaintiff and other patients which he had ostensibly prescribed for them. This was done with the implied knowledge and consent of defendant UCSD Medical Center and defendant Regents.
"The sexual relationship between defendant Weitzel and plaintiff lasted until or about April 1994. Defendant Weitzel informed plaintiff throughout her therapy and after June ??10 22, 1992, that sexual contact between psychiatrist and patient was permissible and beneficial."
In a sworn statement, dated May 5, 1995, Patient X claimed that she had personally seen evidence of Weitzel's alleged drug abuse. "During therapy with Defendant Robert Weitzel, M.D., I returned to him prescription bottles of tranquilizers that he prescribed for me (Buspar) for his supposed disposal at his request. I was unable to tolerate the medication.
"During our affair, I found my prescription bottle of Buspar plus several (about 12) prescription bottles of other patients of Defendant UCSD in Defendant Weitzel's possession. Defendant Weitzel admitted to me he was taking the medication he prescribed to other patients himself as well as my Buspar.
"Further, Defendant Weitzel admitted to me he was self-prescribing himself."
When attorneys for Weitzel and UCSD blocked Sussman's attempted subpoena of Weitzel's prescribing records, she fired off another brief.
"Plaintiff...has good cause for ascertaining if Defendant Weitzel's abhorrent behavior was in part precipitated by his abuse of controlled substances on Defendant UCSD's prescription pads. Plaintiff has knowledge that Defendant Weitzel was taking her drugs and had a lot of other UCSD patients' drugs in his possession. Defendant Weitzel admitted to Plaintiff that he was self-prescribing narcotics to himself on Defendant UCSD's prescription pads indicated for office use.
"He was 'shooting up' with the narcotics. The fact that Defendant Weitzel was frequently under the influence of controlled substances would partly explain his misconduct, as well as be relevant to the issue of whether Defendants Regents and [UCSD Medical] Center were on notice of Defendant Weitzel's incompetent and dangerous behavior toward female patients such as Plaintiff."
Within weeks after a judge took Sussman's request to subpoena Weitzel's prescribing records under consideration, she says, the university settled the case.
"The university and Dr. Weitzel's attorney did everything they could to prevent us from getting those records. They didn't even want to have a hearing on the issue. That's what finally caused the resolution of the case, not the doctor's conduct. They were afraid of turning the prescribing records over to us," says Sussman. "That would have looked terrible for UCSD had we got his prescription forms and found out the amounts of [controlled substances] involved. It would have looked very bad."
Today, Sussman questions UCSD's decision to graduate Weitzel from its psychiatric residency program. "They shouldn't have graduated someone like this. He was really showing signs of someone who did not know his boundaries. They had a duty to the public not to graduate this doctor out. Instead, they circle the wagons and protect their own."