Some troubling accusations are being leveled against the chief of academic surgery at St. Joseph Medical Center by two former patients, who say the prominent surgeon hooked them on prescription pain meds and then forced them to trade sexual favors for more pills.
The patients, identified as "John and Jane Doe," filed a lawsuit against Dr. Thomas V. Taylor in a Harris County court last week, accusing the surgeon of intentionally hooking the patients on highly addictive painkillers, and then using that addiction to exploit them sexually in exchange for thousands upon thousands of pills.
Peter Schneider, the attorney for the couple, released video to Channel 2 that he says was taken by his clients in November, and is evidence of the sexual exchanges. On the video, a doctor who resembles Taylor can be seen examining Jane Doe's genital area for a rash in his office. Following the exam, she performs oral sex on him.
"The doctor is examining the woman's genitalia, and he has no business practicing dermatology," says Schneider. "He's a lap band surgeon. What you didn't see on the video is as he's writing, he kind of grabs his crotch as a signal, and after that you see the woman perform oral sex. At the very end he hands the prescription over."
Schneider says his clients took the video because they knew no one -- including their attorney -- would believe a story about a prominent surgeon taking advantage of patients without proof.
"My clients were smart enough to know the only way that anyone was ever going to believe them is if there was some hard proof," says Schneider.
And, according to Schneider, his clients are not the only one to be taken advantage of sexually by Dr. Taylor.
"I know of two other victims," the attorney claims.
This pills-for-sex exploitation began four years ago, after John Doe received a prescription for Norco and Xanax from Dr. Taylor following a surgery. The doctor continued to prescribe medically unnecessary painkillers long after, says Schneider, leading to a severe addiction for both John and Jane Doe.
The couple became so addicted they "would do anything to get those drugs," says Schneider, and that's when the doctor began to take full advantage of their desperation.
Taylor told the addicted couple that he would give them more pain pills in exchange for sexual favors, including oral sex, Schneider alleges. The couple also claims the doctor would ask to watch them have sex with each other.
Schneider claims Taylor wasn't charging the patients or Medicaid for the office visits, either. The couple was "basically homeless," according to Schneider, and were free to come by the office and ask to see the doctor as they pleased.
Whenever office staff became suspicious or started asking questions, Taylor replaced them, Schneider alleges.
At one point, the couple claims, Taylor prescribed them 400 pills in a span of 27 days. Thousands of pills were prescribed over the four year period, some as recently as November, when the couple recorded that explicit video. Schneider says they have the prescription paper trail to prove it.
When asked why the couple agreed to release parts of the video because they wanted to warn the public about the doctor, Schneider says.
"It was in the public's best interest to know that there was a doctor like this out there, so that your kids and my kids and the rest of us would know that he's been taking advantage of people like this," he says.
The couple is seeking over $100,000 in damages in their lawsuit, which Schneider says will be used, at least in part, for treatment.
"My job and my goal is to get these clients into a treatment facility and to get psychiatric care," says Schneider.
Emails to Rusty Hardin, who is representing Dr. Taylor, have not been returned. Hardin issued a statement to Channel 2, however, in which he said that the couple was attempting to blackmail the prominent surgeon.
"I was contacted by this doctor after there was an attempted shakedown for a million dollars," Hardin said.