We have previously seen fake doctors arrested after harmful or lethal operations, often low-cost cosmetic surgeries. Few compete with the alleged medical practice of Oneal Ron Morris, who is accused of injecting the buttocks of women with cement and flat-tire sealant in her “practice.” The use of flat-tire sealant appears to be a favorite off-the-counter item for such faux cosmetic doctors, given past cases. She was charged criminally for practicing without a license and obviously can be sued civilly.
Police have been searching for Morris, who has been moving from house to house in her Mercedes sedan. An officer, however, kept her homes under periodic surveillance and finally spotted the car this week. He made the arrest of Morris who appears to have been the recipient of the same enhancement measures as her patients. THe victim reportedly paid her $700 for a series of injections in May 2010. She was recommended by a friend. She says that the “doctor” assured her t”`Oh don’t worry, you’ll be fine. We just keep injecting you with the stuff and it all works itself out.'”
Morris, 30, is reportedly a transgendered woman.
We discuss these cases in class where negligence law can be used to hold faux professional liable for their malpractice. Under the common law, such individuals are held to the standard of the professional, so Morris would be tried under the standard of a reasonable plastic surgeon. I am pretty sure that such a standard would rule out flat-tire sealant as a material for enhancement. Ironically, under the common law, a person could still prevail if the jury concludes that they acted in conformity with reasonable skills and judgment. The fact that you are practicing without a license is a criminal not a civil matter. For example, in Brown v. Shyne, 242 N.Y. 176, 151 N.E. 197 (1926), the court looked at a case where a trial judge allowed a jury to hold an unlicensed chiropractor liable based on the fact that he violated the statute. The patient was paralyzed and Shyne was convicted under the criminal law. However, the court held that if a violation of statute has no direct bearing on the injury, proof of that violation is irrelevant. Rather, the defendant is reviewed under the standard of care for a licensed professional in his field.
This will not likely be a case that turns on such fine distinctions, however. Once you go into the automotive section from material for your surgeries, you are well outside any reasonable standard of care.