South Florida

Doctor's License Remains Unchanged After Admitting Illegal Drug Use to Police

Editor’s note:

The Broward State Attorney’s Office won’t be filing charges against Dr. Parikh in connection to the case, writing in a memo there is no evidence Parikh gave Langille all the drugs that were found in her system and contributed to her death, including fatal amounts of fentanyl. The medical examiner report doesn’t list marijuana in her toxicology, despite being cited by prosecutors and police.

A memo, recently provided by prosecutors, says the DEA completed a lab examination of the bags found in Parikh’s apartment and the results show four contained cocaine and one contained THC but they did not show traces of fentanyl, other drugs found in Langille’s system or initially suspected like heroin.

In court filings, Parikh denied giving any drugs to Langille. Following the prosecutors’ decision, his attorney sent NBC 6 a statement: “Dr. Parikh hopes to finally put this sad event behind him. It was a very traumatic event for him. The investigation shows a few points clearly. First, the witness statements prove Dr. Parikh never met Ms. Langille at a bar nor did he invite her over and instead somebody else invited Ms. Langille to Dr. Parikh’s apartment. Further, the medical reports, including the autopsy reports, all show no evidence of any sexual intercourse. Finally, the investigation and closing report prove that upon discovering the deceased, Dr. Parikh attempted to assist and resuscitate Ms. Langille. This situation has been sad and difficult for everyone, and Dr. Parikh continues to pray for Ms. Langille’s family.”

The Florida Department of Health has not taken any disciplinary action against Parikh and his license remains active.

Olya Langille had big dreams. Those dreams brought the 18-year-old, after she finished high school in New Jersey, to South Florida.

She aspired to be a model and was training to work onboard expensive yachts.

But Langille died in March from what the Broward Medical Examiner found was an accidental drug overdose.

She was found early one morning lying on the floor of a South Florida doctor's apartment not far from Los Olas Boulevard.

Dr. Naval Parikh told the officers who arrived that the two had met at a bar and what followed was a night drugs, drinking and sex, according to records from police and the Broward State Attorney's office.

Parikh told police they were snorting cocaine and smoking marijuana.

The police report describes bags of suspected cocaine or heroin and a possible drug pipe in the apartment.

"It was a total shock," said Leslie Maxsom, Langille's close family friend. "I have to say that never in a million years would I have thought that something like this would have happened to Olya."

Fort Lauderdale Police didn't suspect foul play but did open a death investigation that remains open. The department said it would not comment further until the investigation is complete.

The next day, March 27, police confirmed they made a report regarding the incident to the Florida Department of Health.

But no record of the death or report of the incident is evident on the public page listing Parikh's medical license with the Florida Department of Health.

He also remains able to prescribe opioids and medical marijuana.

Brad Dalton, a spokesman at DOH told us the department "can neither confirm nor deny the existence of a complaint or investigation until ten days after probable cause is found. This includes neither confirming nor denying notices from law enforcement or hospitals regarding the actions of licensed practitioners."

Jorge Silva teaches medical malpractice at the Florida International University College of Law. He believes the health department should have the ability and responsibility to post reports of this nature about doctors so patients can be aware.

"How on God's green earth would an unsuspecting patient know?" Silva asked. "The fact that the Department of Health was notified on the 27th and despite that, this physician's privileges and license was not suspended immediately, without delay, screams how broken our system is and how much revamping it demands."

Also, the NBC 6 Investigators have discovered that 72 hours after Langille was found dead and after Dr. Parikh's admission to police that he was snorting cocaine and smoking marijuana, he was at Broward Health North hospital using his security badge to access the emergency room and a floor where critically ill patients were being treated.

In response to a public records request, Broward Health provided information from Parikh's security badge showing when and where it was used. The entries show in the month after Langille died, he was at the hospital 24 days with over 200 entries logged under his ID badge.

"To allow this man to have continuously participated in the care and treatment of these patients is just unfathomable," Silva said when showed the records.

Broward Health told us Dr. Parikh is "not an employed physician of Broward Health. He is a community-based physician with privileges at area hospitals."

Once we informed Broward Health about the death investigation involving Parikh, they told us they found "alternative coverage for his patients pending further investigation."

The doctor's attorney, Fred Haddad, declined our request to interview them, but in an email said, "the doctor has not been charged with any type of wrongdoing, and is a dedicated medical professional who has not had a single allegation of any kind by an patient throughout his career."

Silva believes the hospital should take a second look at anyone Parikh treated.

"We don't know if there were any ill consequences that patients suffered as of this physician's management on the 29th and thereafter," Silva said.

The hospital told us it follows the rules when it comes to what it's required to report to the Department of Health. A spokesperson wouldn't say if it reported any details about Doctor Parikh.

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