Lawsuit blames pole barn doctor for woman’s death


PAW PAW, Mich. (WOOD) — The South Haven doctor who performed liposuction and other cosmetic surgery in a rural Allegan County pole barn was blamed for the death of one of his patients in a lawsuit.

The 62-year-old Van Buren County woman died after more than two gallons of liquid was removed from her body, according to the suit.

There are more than a dozen files with Bradley Bastow’s name on them in the Van Buren County courthouse, most disputes over real estate or billing disputes. But one case involving the Nov. 11, 2012 death of Pamela Williamson was different.

The pole barn office of Body Laser Sculpting on 114th Avenue in Glenn, between Saugatuck and South Haven, is closed after the state pulled its license this week.

The state says the facility had numerous health code violations, including performing procedures in an unsanitary, unfinished pole barn; mixing animal and human drugs; and taking a controlled substance from the business for personal use.

The state also cited the improper disposal of medical waste. The state’s investigation came after 24 Hour News 8 saw medical supplies in the trash of the facility in April.

It was in November 2012 that 62-year-old Pamela Williamson came to the office for liposuction at a cost of about $5,500, according to a suit filed in 2013.

According to the suit, Williamson’s husband dropped her off on Nov. 10 in the early morning and returned that afternoon to see a gallon-and-a-half of liquid had been taken from her body.

In the suit, Robert Williamson said he was told the procedure had been difficult because his wife had stopped breathing several times.

Bastow told the husband he had administered a “cocktail” of drugs to the woman to complete the procedure.

The woman was sent home with antibiotics, pain pills and the husband was told to get his wife a vanilla shake from McDonald’s on the way home.

The next morning, she died.  Her autopsy listed her cause of death as “acute lidocaine toxicity.”

The lawsuit seeking more than $25,000 was filed in June 2013 and the doctor denied all claims against him.

A year-and-a-half later it was settled out of court. The terms of the settlement were not in the court file.

24 Hour News 8 reached out to the Williamson family, but have not heard back. Often suits of these type include a clause barring the case from being discussed.

In addition to the lawsuit, court files show that Bastow was sentenced to a week in jail after pleading guilty to withholding information during a legal action. He had originally been charged with perjury and tampering with evidence, but those charges were dropped.

In 2006, Bastow divorced his wife and mother of his three now adult children.

In March, records show he was on the hook for more than $21,000 in support payments which he satisfied on April 20.

The address he listed for himself in those proceedings is the pole barn where he performed liposuction.

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