Parents of patient sue doctor for 'wrongful death'

Dr. Robert Gene Rand's booking photos. Rand will remain in a bay area jail until his next court appearance May 6, 2016.
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - New information on a case involving the Reno doctor at the center of a reported illegal drug mill. One of Dr. Robert Rand's patients died after taking drugs he allegedly prescribed.

The Yenick family wants to expose a prescription drug problem in Reno, one that led to the death of their son, 33-year-old Michael Yenick. According to their attorney, William Jeanney, this is the first time in Reno where a case has been tried criminally against a physician.

"These aren't illicit drugs that were purchased from the street or came from anywhere else. This came from a physician," said Jeanney.

Michael Yenick first went to Dr. Rand in 2014 with a complaint of severe back pain. Jeanney says the drugs the 53-year-old doctor prescribed killed Yenick in October 2015.

"The drugs that resulted in his death, we know that they were prescriptive drugs, they only came from one place."

The family believes the only way Yenick became addicted was through this prescription. They accuse Dr. Rand of not properly monitoring how much he was prescribing and how that would affect their son.

"The physician who is prescribing those pain relievers has the obligation and responsibility that a patient, like Michael Yenick, who is vulnerable to this drug is treated appropriately."

As of now, no other physicians have been connected to Yenick's case. The criminal side of Dr. Rand's case involves nine other people who allegedly distributed oxycodone illegally, outside of a doctor-patient relationship. Jeanney says that case has no connection to the Yenicks. The only link between the two cases is Dr. Rand.

"We have no evidence right now that leaks over between the two cases, but it's early on on the case."

The fear now is Michael was not the only victim. Dr. Rand is believed to have 900 to 1000 patients. Since the investigation bega, months ago, Jeanney says more people are coming forward with the same issue.

"I can tell you I think in the next five to seven days, an additional death case will be filed."

Currently Dr. Rand will have to respond to the Yenicks' complaint in Second Judicial District Court in Reno. Jeanney believes the civil case should be resolved within 18 months. The only way the case would be stalled is the fear from Dr. Rand's legal team that any evidence used in this case could be used in the criminal case, since both cases track at the same time.


Photo of Michael Yenick provided by his family