ATLANTA — A Gwinnett County dermatologist whose licensed was suspended following a Channel 2 Action News investigation is now facing nearly $200,000 in state penalties.
Dr. Windell Davis-Boutte is at the center of a consent judgment from the Georgia Attorney General’s office. According to the order, Boutte must pay out $190,000 to 38 patients who paid her in full for cosmetic surgeries prior to her recent license suspension, but never had the procedures.
Channel 2 Action News first investigated Boutte last June, revealing a number of settled and pending malpractice claims tied to botched surgeries, and the Gwinnett County dermatologist's work as a cosmetic surgeon.
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The series of reports led to the Georgia Composite Medical Board suspending Boutte’s medical license until 2021.
Civil lawsuits are pending in those matters. This week’s consent agreement recoups money for consumers who never went under the knife. If Boutte defaults, she could face more than $600,000 in civil penalties.
“It is dangerous when medical professionals misrepresent their qualifications -- plain and simple,” said Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr. “And when you don’t return the money to those who have paid, that’s just wrong.”
“I was glad to see that Dr. Boutte consented to it and is finally taking some responsibility,” said Chloe Dallaire, one of the attorneys representing Boutte’s victims.” (But) It doesn’t go far enough to address the other people in the room who were complicit. Who knew about these representations, yet still participated. And the (medical) board has yet to take any action against them.”
Dallaire is referring to the people who worked with Boutte in the operating rooms, including an anesthesiologist who danced by her side in videos. Dallaire and attorney Susan Witt, who also represents victims, say the previous state administration rolled back on measures that ensured legitimate specialist certification.
Georgia allows doctors to practice medicine outside of their specialty -- regardless of their board certifications.
Boutte, a dermatologist, claimed she was certified in cosmetic surgery on her website. The state now says those claims were false or unsubstantiated.
“Our end goal is to see some legislative change in Georgia,” said Witt. “It goes back to they have really loosened up the rules on the truth and advertising for doctors in Georgia and that’s a problem because then the onus becomes on the consumer to do their homework on their doctor and most consumers don’t question doctors.”
For patients who believe they're eligible for funds from the consent order, claim instructions are available here.