NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Jason Crabtree describes his pain like a constant burning, as if he’s stepping on hot coals.
Weary of taking medicine for his neuropathy, he said the testimonials and advertisement for medicine-free treatment from a west Nashville doctor gave him hope.
Dr. Christopher Richards, a doctor of chiropractic and a frequent quest on Nashville lifestyle shows for years, touted his treatment for neuropathy without the need for medication at his practice “Advanced Medical of Nashville,” on White Bridge Road.
Crabtree and his wife Misti told News4 Investigates that after consulting with Richards, the doctor promised to cure Crabtree within 10 treatments, but he would have to prepay $5,300.
“We went ahead and spent the money, believing it would be cured,” Crabtree said.
Crabtree said after the 10 sessions, his pain wasn’t any better and he said Richards told him to come for two more weeks of treatments.
Crabtree said when he arrived this month for his latest treatment, Richards’ office was dark and a sign on the door read that the practice had closed and apologized for any inconvenience.
“They didn't give us anything notice or anything,” Crabtree said. “He gave us hope that it would be cured.”
Crabtree, and another patient who did not want to be identified, told News4 Investigates that their calls have not been returned and no one could track down Richards.
News4 Investigates attempted to contact both Richards and his office manager repeatedly by phone, and when our calls and texts were not returned, we tracked him down at his home.
“I just want to get some answers for your patients,” said chief investigator Jeremy Finley.
Richards at first did not want to answer questions but did stop and speak.
“These patients, obviously, are in a lot of pain, and they expected you to make this situation better ... and now, they have nowhere to go, and they had no notification that this was going to happen,” Finley asked.
“I had no notification. I found out one day, got the call, that this is it,” Richards said.
Richards didn’t elaborate but said financial difficulties led to the sudden closure.
“We've had some patients come to us that feel that they have already paid for services that they haven't got. So what do you say to them?” asked Finley.
“We're working on a way to either find a way to treat them or refund them,” Richards said.
“Can you guarantee that they'll be refunded?” Finley asked.
“As much as I can, right now, it's with the lawyers,” Richard said.
A creditor of Richards showed News4 Investigates a letter he received, showing that Richards had filed for bankruptcy.
News4 Investigates will continue to follow this to see if patients will be refunded.
A spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Health said it has no jurisdiction of private practices, and that all a doctor must do when he or she closes their office is make sure patients have access to their medical records.
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