Ex-doctor’s conviction is upheld in opioid overdose deaths

Doctor Painkillers
Dr. Stan Li, right, who is on trial on manslaughter charges after New York City authorities said he sold painkiller prescriptions to two patients who died of overdoses, leaves court Wednesday April 2, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

New York state’s highest court has upheld a former doctor’s conviction in what was believed to be the state’s first manslaughter case against a physician in an overdose death.

The Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in Stan Li’s case.

The onetime anesthesiologist from Hamilton, New Jersey, was convicted in 2014 in the deaths of two patients.

The New York City special narcotics prosecutor’s office said Li essentially peddled opioids to addicts, seeing as many as 90 patients a day at a Queens clinic that charged on a per-prescription scale.

Li’s lawyer, Raymond Belair, said the physician was misled by patients he tried to help.

Belair says the defense is very disappointed in the ruling and it’s “very troubling” for physicians.

Li is serving up to 20 years in prison.