On March 30, 2021, Dr. Nadine Haddad was excited to check a brand new service at her Fifth Avenue elective medication spa close to Balboa Park. She’d simply been licensed to offer the “O-Shot.”
However earlier than she might supply purchasers the clitoral and vaginal injections of their very own blood PRP — platelet-rich plasma — she wanted follow.
Based on courtroom testimony final week, Haddad requested 4 or 5 of her personal staff on the B Medical Spa and Wellness Heart to volunteer as “fashions” for the controversial shot — which she promised improved intercourse drive and “oh-my-God orgasms.”
Jaime Herwehe, an esthetician, was one in every of two staff who agreed to the shot.
Two years later, testifying in downtown Superior Courtroom, Herwehe (pronounced HER-way) described a terrifying ordeal.
With one other staffer holding open her vagina by hand and the Syrian-trained doctor generally utilizing an iPhone to shine a light-weight, an “extraordinarily nervous and scared” Herwehe was injected with a neighborhood anesthetic that had expired three years earlier, she mentioned.
Unaware that the liquid lidocaine provided no numbness, Haddad injected PRP into her nerve-rich clitoris, Herwehe advised a jury of 9 males and three girls.
“It was past excruciating,” mentioned the 32-year-old mom and former San Diego Metropolis Faculty pupil. “Essentially the most excruciating ache in my life.”
She quickly handed out on the ground — a attainable seizure, a witness mentioned — and has since suffered vaginal numbness.
“After the botched O-Shot process, plaintiff was unable to have pleasing sexual relations together with her accomplice,” her legal professionals wrote. “Plaintiff and her boyfriend of virtually eight years and the daddy of her daughter broke off their longtime relationship due to the dearth of intimacy and plaintiff’s change in mentality in the direction of intercourse.”
Alleging medical malpractice, a lawsuit go well with filed Sept. 15, 2021, towards medical director Haddad and Haddad’s husband, workplace supervisor Mark Khashram, additionally claims that Herwehe didn’t give written consent for the process gone awry.
And wasn’t advised its dangers beforehand.
And in line with the grievance filed by San Diego attorneys Josh Gruenberg and Pamela Vallero, Herwehe was fired Might 11, 2021, for refusing to signal an O-Shot consent kind 42 days after the very fact.
No financial determine is specified, however the authorized staff that additionally helped Sandra Maas win a judgment towards KUSI-TV seeks quite a lot of penalties, together with “punitive damages in an quantity essential to make an instance of, and to punish, defendant, and to discourage future comparable misconduct.”
Medical battery and retaliation are additionally alleged, however a number of of the unique claims had been dropped.
Within the formal reply to the grievance, submitted Nov. 22, 2021, the defendants mentioned partially that Herwehe “had the categorical data of the dangers and hazards set forth within the Grievance, in addition to the magnitude of the dangers and hazards, and thereafter knowingly and willingly assumed these dangers.”
The response additionally mentioned:
- That any alleged accidents “had been aggravated by the plaintiff’s failure to make use of affordable diligence to mitigate them.”
- That Herwehe’s consent “was each categorical and implied.”
- And that “no healthcare supplier shall be responsible for skilled negligence or malpractice for any prevalence or outcome solely on the idea that the prevalence or outcome was brought on by the pure course of a illness or situation or was the pure or sudden results of affordable remedy rendered for the illness or situation.”
Instances of San Diego attended trial periods Monday, Wednesday and Thursday within the fifth-floor Corridor of Justice courtroom of Decide Carolyn Caietti — Division 70.
Present and former B Med Spa staff testified, textual content messages had been proven and knowledgeable testimony given.
Haddad — who appeared solely days earlier than on Fox5 Information — and Khashram are represented by Maya Faucett and Jack Reinholtz of Prindle, Goetz, Barnes & Reinholtz LLP, which has a College Metropolis workplace.
Reinholtz is also defending Haddad and Khashram in a separate lawsuit involving Jessyca DeLara — Herwehe’s older sister — who was B Med Spa’s supervisor throughout the identical interval and alleges wage violations, enterprise fraud and intentional infliction of emotional misery.
(Trial is ready for January 2024 in Decide Keri Katz’s courtroom, with Gruenberg representing DeLara.)
In Herwehe’s case, the spa’s co-owners since January 2021 have primarily tried to throw chilly water on Herwehe’s motives and veracity — and deny she gave no prior consent. At one level, they argued a textual content recommended Herwehe provided a bribe to a colleague within the case.
With legal professionals for either side utilizing sexual phrases seldom heard in a courtroom, the protection staff Monday challenged knowledgeable witness James Tappan, who has 50 years of expertise as an obstetrician and gynecologist.
“Backside line, you’re not an knowledgeable in performing an O-Shot,” Reinholtz advised San Mateo-based Tappan, being paid greater than $15,000 as a witness for Herwehe and showing just about on a video display.
“Fortunately, sure (not an knowledgeable),” the 79-year-old Tappan replied after beforehand labeling the PRP shot “not a acknowledged and accepted modality.” He mentioned it was ineffective to deal with sexual dysfunction and that 64 dangers are related to the shot. He additionally mentioned OB-GYNs dispute the existence of a G-spot, which the O-shot additionally guarantees to boost.
Haddad’s certificates of finishing O-Shot coaching with inventor Dr. Charles Runels, Tappan mentioned, is a “piece of paper not acknowledged by any nationwide physique.” (Runels and the O-Shot are roundly mocked by different OB-GYNs.)
Ex-boyfriend Brandon Smith — an SDG&E high-voltage lineman who used to reside with Herwehe — offered among the most searing (and specific) testimony.
Below questioning by Vallero, he described their intercourse life, which he mentioned “nice” earlier than the March 2021 process. However after her O-Shot, the boyfriend since 2014 mentioned he couldn’t contact her with out her being uncomfortable.
“She was so delicate, she wouldn’t need me to the touch her wherever,” Smith mentioned. She did a “entire 180” from her earlier self, confirmed “zero endurance,” changing into a “fully completely different particular person.” Their relationship “continuously changed into a combat, an argument.”
Vallero requested Smith if he blamed the O-Shot for the tip of their relationship.
“Yeah, completely,” he mentioned. “That entire course of … takes a toll” and “snowballed for the reason that begin of it.”
Herwewe dabbed her eyes as Smith mentioned he’d made clear he by no means wished to wed however deliberate to have a baby, which they did in 2019.
Requested if he’d wish to get again collectively, Smith mentioned: “I’d like to if we might work these items out. … if we might get again to the place we had been.”
However Herwehe didn’t wish to, he mentioned.
On the subsequent jury break, within the courtroom hallway, Smith put his arms round Herwehe.
‘Improves Intercourse Drive’
Additionally on the witness stand Monday was Haddad, who mentioned she advised potential volunteers that the O-Shot “improves blood provide to that space (and) total it improves intercourse drive and sensitivity.”
She mentioned spa supervisor DeLara reported that Herwehe was “nice” with having the process — “and I assumed I might belief her.”
“I requested consent and she or he mentioned she signed and was prepared.” Haddad repeated: “I used to be advised it was signed…. I hadn’t seen it.”
Herwehe legal professional Gruenberg displayed a printout from the Medical Board of California exhibiting that Haddad’s medical license had expired the earlier Friday and was now “delinquent.”
Haddad mentioned she had been “preoccupied with this case and didn’t get to it.” (By late Tuesday, the license was “renewed and present” with an expiration date of March 31, 2025.)
Haddad acknowledged having used expired lidocaine on each her topics, first on worker volunteer, Jessica Nieto, who didn’t proceed to the precise O-Shot as a result of “it was so painful … she requested me to cease.”
On Wednesday, the protection known as Andrea Muñoz, a doctor’s assistant who works at Sharp Rees-Stealy but additionally half time at B Med Spa.
Muñoz mentioned that after discussing contraceptive choices with Herwehe, she inserted an IUD in July 2021 — 4 months after the O-Shot. She mentioned Herwehe talked about no ache, sensitivity or numbness.
“No abnormalities within the vagina. … No irregular findings,” she testified.
Muñoz mentioned she hadn’t heard of Herwehe’s O-Shot “till yesterday,” having “discovered of it prior to now 24 hours by way of counsel.”
Herwehe, an El Cajon native who graduated from Grossmont Excessive Faculty in 2009 (two years after her sister), took the stand subsequent and commenced describing work-related complaints.
She mentioned everybody was promised pay raises after Haddad and Khashram took over. Nevertheless it “by no means occurred.” She mentioned Khashram pressed her to increase her volunteer social media postings for the enterprise, particularly Instagram.
Quickly she was doing it “on a regular basis,” together with her free hours, and it grew to become exhausting.
“It wasn’t enjoyable anymore,” she mentioned. And worse — regardless of a advertising firm posting — “we weren’t getting paid for it.”
‘Good to Go’
On the day of the O-Shot, Herwehe mentioned colleague Evelyn Hernandez-Cardenas, who had simply assisted with Nieto’s aborted process, “seemed very nervous, very uncomfortable.”
However the physician was nonetheless excited, telling how “it was the best remedy ever,” Herwehe testified.
Regardless of an “excruciating” lidocaine shot to the clitoris, Haddad advised Herwehe: “In case you are previous lidocaine, you need to be good to go.”
Haddad mentioned she’d let the world get numb after which inject PRP into the G-spot of the mendacity down Herwehe. Haddad used an iPhone flashlight to search out the spot and mentioned: “I assumed you had a child,” Herwehe advised the courtroom.
Haddad was heard saying the method was profitable.
“I couldn’t even converse — it harm so unhealthy,” Herwehe recalled, saying co-worker Cardenas was out of breath, shaking and crying.
When helped to her ft, Herwehe felt as if she would move out.” Waking up later, as if after an extended sleep, Herwehe mentioned Haddad advised her: “You handed out 30 seconds, tops.”
Cardenas seemed like she’d seen a ghost, Herwehe mentioned. (Later that night, the aide advised Herwehe she had a “two-minute seizure.”)
Then Haddad famous the 2018 expiration date of the lidocaine and slapped her head, mentioned Herwehe, licensed to offer varied pores and skin and face remedies.
When Herwehe later texted Haddad about whether or not she wanted to see a physician, Haddad mentioned no, suggesting she didn’t have sufficient fluids on the time.
On her drive residence, beginning to really feel dizzy, “I used to be very paranoid,” Herwehe mentioned. “Each injection website was pink, puffy and infected.”
When Cardenas took the stand, she recalled Herwehe falling to the ground and having some type of convulsion or seizure.
“She saved grabbing at her face,” Cardenas testified. “I panicked and went down to assist Dr. Haddad, making an attempt to maneuver her arms away from her. … I used to be scared. I used to be very a lot in shock.”
Requested concerning the earlier process on colleague Nieto, Cardenas mentioned Nieto screamed and had “a variety of blood coming proper out of her vaginal space. It wasn’t like forking out, however there was blood.”
Cardenas mentioned Haddad advised Nieto: “Don’t inform Jaime how a lot ache you had been in as a result of she wouldn’t wish to undergo with this.”
On the stand Thursday was B Med Spa assistant supervisor Nieto, promoted from front-desk employee.
Lawyer Vallero requested Nieto if written consent had been obtained earlier than her process.
“Nicely, it was a verbal consent,” not written, she mentioned.
Nieto confirmed she had felt a excessive stage of ache, however Haddad stopped after Nieto known as for a halt. She mentioned her vagina bled, “but it surely wasn’t extreme.”
Was she requested to signal a consent kind after the process?
“Sure,” Nieto mentioned. She signed Might 11, 2021 — the day Herwehe balked and was fired.
Testimony resumes Monday, with closing arguments anticipated Tuesday or Wednesday.