San Jose, CA – A former doctor, who ran a pain management clinic out of Los Gatos, was recently sentenced to four years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter of a patient who had just returned from drug rehabilitation treatment. Two weeks after Jasna Mrdjen prescribed hundreds of powerful pills to 29-year-old Steven English, he died from the dangerous combination of drugs.
Mrdjen, 74, of Mountain View, pleaded no contest on September 26, 2016, to nine counts of prescribing a controlled substance to persons without a legitimate medical purpose, two counts of dispensing a controlled substance to an addict, one count conspiracy, and one count of involuntary manslaughter for the death of Steven English.
Prosecutor Dana Veazey said: “I hope this tragedy serves to warn others of the depth and danger of the prescription drug abuse epidemic and reminds those who are tempted to overprescribe powerful narcotics to value their patients’ lives over profits.”
The charges stem from a multi-agency investigation that began in 2011 after a patient was arrested for selling drugs prescribed by Mrdjen. The investigation showed Mrdjen was writing excessive, high dosage prescriptions for Oxycodone and Percocet, addictive narcotics. Prescriptions were given with minimal evaluation, and in some cases, without prior medical records. In one case, Mrjden prescribed high doses of prescription drugs to an undercover officer, posing as a patient with foot pain, without so much as asking her to remove her shoe. As part of the investigation, some of Mrjden’s patients were arrested for reselling her prescribed drugs for a profit.
On January 3, 2012, Mrdjen prescribed English Oxycodone, Flexeril, and Clonazepam. English had refills remaining for Hydrocodone and Diazepam, also prescribed by Mrdjen. Two weeks later, English was found dead by his parents at their home in Truckee, CA. It was determined the cause of death was multiple drug ingestion.
After his death, Mrjden altered English’s patient file and forged his signature.
Santa Clara County Specialized Enforcement Team is a multi-jurisdictional task force that targets mid-to major level narcotic dealers, traffickers and manufacturers throughout Santa Clara County. SCCSET was assisted in this case by investigators from the Medical Board of California and California Department of Justice, agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency, and police officers from Los Gatos/Monte Sereno and Mountain View.
Source: Santa Clara County DA’s Office