A doctor who has previously claimed to be a “natural” herbalist is being sued for allegedly claiming to be an herbalist.
Dr. Michael Norco, a gastroenterologist at the University of Colorado Hospital, has been named as a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed in Denver federal court by Dr. Mary Ann Ponder, a nurse practitioner in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The lawsuit alleges Norco falsely represented that he could “create a natural remedy for all ills, ailments and diseases” and that he is “a physician with extensive clinical experience and clinical expertise in the field of health sciences and medicine.”
Ponder has claimed to have “a clear understanding of natural health remedies, as well as how they can be used to alleviate pain and disease,” according to the lawsuit.
The complaint states that Norco claims that “he has been working to educate doctors and other health care professionals on the importance of natural remedies for more than 20 years and has worked with over 2,000 patients over that time period.”
Norco was not available for comment on the lawsuit Tuesday.
Ponder said that she filed the lawsuit after “he told me that I could get a ‘natural remedy’ for every ill” and then “started telling me about the various kinds of herbs that he had found to be effective, even though I had never heard of any.”
“I didn’t even know what the word ‘natural’ meant,” she told ABC News.
“I’m trying to help people get better and I’m trying get better.”
Pomer said that Norca’s “medical knowledge was very limited” and he “didn’t know how to use any of these products.”
“So I called him, I called his doctor, I sent him my concerns, and he didn’t respond,” Ponder told ABC.
“And I said, ‘Well, what’s the problem?'”
Ponder went on to explain to ABC News that she contacted Norco about the lawsuit and he apologized, and that the two agreed that Norcia would no longer represent himself as a herbalist, but added that he was still a practicing physician.
Norcia was initially scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, but his attorney said that his client will not appear because he was already scheduled to testify at a public forum.
The attorney for Norco declined to comment on Monday about the suit, saying that it would be inappropriate to do so.