SALT LAKE CITY — Charges have been dismissed against a Highland chiropractor who was accused of exploiting a disabled woman.
John O. Meadors, 50, of Utah Spine and Disc Inc., was charged in 3rd District Court with exploitation of a vulnerable adult, a second-degree felony, but charges were dismissed by prosecutors in April. Prosecutors had alleged that Meadors had a disabled woman apply for a $6,000 credit line to pay for her treatment without the knowledge of her guardian.
Meadors said he had no indication that the woman wanted a refund.
"Nobody ever contacted me and said this lady wanted a refund," he said. "The first indication I had of anything was when police came in and arrested me."
Hal Reiser, Meadors' attorney, said the woman suffered no financial loss because the credit company returned the woman's money. Reiser said Meadors had also written the woman a refund check, which was never claimed.
He said once prosecutors realized the woman didn't actually owe anything to the credit company and that the incident had been, in many ways, a miscommunication, the case against Meadors "was kind of all undone."
A prosecution motion to dismiss cited the fact that the victim and another "necessary" witness were unable to testify as the reason for the dismissal.
The charges had alleged that a woman found by a doctor to be suffering from "mild mental retardation" had met with Meadors after her guardian scheduled an appointment to address some severe headaches. It was alleged that she filled out a credit application and had been approved for a $6,000 credit line. The woman had also been given, and signed, a contract for 20 visits with Meadors. The visits totaled $5,250.
The guardian never saw the credit application or the visits contract.
Reiser said Meadors has had very few patient complaints in his past and said the doctor and those in his office strive to keep their patients happy. He said Meadors reiterated that had he known the patient was unhappy, he would have quickly issued a refund sooner.
Meadors said he actually issued a refund as soon as he was aware there was a problem — when he was released from jail.
"The patient was not charged anything and got four treatments without charge," Reiser said. "The prosecutors were reasonable and fair in the analysis. They were communicative and fair in balancing the interest of justice for both the patient and Dr. Meadors."
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