Fentanyl at center of new allegations in Hecht case | AspenTimes.com

Fentanyl at center of new allegations in Hecht case

While there's no shortage of scandalous allegations in a lawsuit filed against Aspen developer Nikos Hecht by his ex-girlfriend, the latest issue the two sides are fighting over ups the ante.

Plaintiff Brooke Warfel alleges that Hecht drugged her by placing fentanyl patches on her body but told her they were "Icy Hot patches," according to documents filed in federal court. Fentanyl is a "powerful and addictive pain narcotic," the documents state.

"This is how Ms. Warfel became addicted to narcotics and eventually led to her use of Subutex in an effort to combat the addiction," according to her third amended complaint. Subutex is used to combat opioid addiction.

In his response filed last month, Hecht did not deny placing the fentanyl patches on Warfel during a December 2014 to January 2015 trip to Mexico, but said Warfel should have known they contained fentanyl because she testified to seeing the word "fentanyl" on packaging at the time. In any event, the fentanyl allegations should be dismissed from the suit because they were filed after the statute of limitations ran out, according to Hecht's response.

The fentanyl allegations first surfaced in June, when Warfel filed her third amended complaint in the case.

In that complaint, Warfel said Hecht insisted that she accompany him to Mexico in December 2014 and allow a doctor he knew to terminate her pregnancy. Though she did not want to have an abortion, Hecht told her he would pack all of her belongings in garbage bags, dump them at her door and end their relationship if she did not go through with the procedure, the complaint states.

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When they arrived in Mexico, a female doctor gave Warfel drugs to terminate her pregnancy, though the procedure left her with "excruciating abdominal pain," according to the complaint. Warfel asked Hecht to take her to a physician or relieve the pain, the complaint states.

"Unfortunately, Hecht did the one thing he was good at: he gave Ms. Warfel very strong pain medication to which she then became addicted," according to the complaint. "On a number of occasions, Ms. Warfel did not know or understand the medication Hecht gave her.

"For instance, Hecht would place fentanyl patches … on Ms. Warfel's back, but inform her the patches were something else."

The Mexican abortion did not work and led to Warfel's abdomen filling with blood, according to Warfel's complaint. She had to undergo a second chemical abortion in Aspen after they returned from Mexico in January 2015, her complaint states.

Hecht claims Warfel — who alleges battery in connection with the fentanyl incidents — filed the claim more than a year after it occurred, which surpasses the statute of limitations, according to his August response.

Even so, Warfel knew the patches were placed on her back and "testified that the patches helped with the pain and that they made her feel 'loopy,'" Hecht's response states.

"During this trip, Ms. Warfel knew or could have known with reasonable diligence that the patches contained fentanyl," according to Hecht's response. "Ms. Warfel testified that she was able to examine the packaging for the patches and that the box told her the patches were fentanyl."

In her response filed last week, Warfel said she wasn't aware of fentanyl and didn't know "Hecht was drugging her with one of the most potent and addictive narcotics on the market." Warfel only discovered what fentanyl was after the lawsuit was filed, her response states.

"Ms. Warfel explained both during her deposition and in briefing to this court that while she knew defendant Hecht was placing something called 'fentanyl' on her body, she did not understand what it was, and defendant Hecht made affirmative representations that it was an 'Icy Hot patch' to help with her 'back pain,'" according to Warfel's Sept. 5 response.

In addition, Hecht's response states that the fentanyl was placed on Warfel only once, when her allegations are that it occurred "often," her response states.

The lawsuit contains numerous other allegations, including that Hecht tried to isolate Warfel from her friends and family, pressured and threatened her into having "multiple abortions" and falsely imprisoned and assaulted her. The case was first filed in March 2016 in Denver.

jauslander@aspentimes.com

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