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Trial date set for pain clinic lawsuit

BRADENTON — A court date was set Thursday for a property owner’s lawsuit asking a pain clinic business to vacate his building.

Manatee County Judge George Brown will hear arguments July 26 on the case that Eddie Parsley, owner of the Plaza at Plantation Bay, 904 25th St. Drive E., Ellenton, has against the owner of the 1910 Medical Clinic LLC.

Parsley, through his St. Petersburg attorney, Bradley Wood, filed a complaint with the court alleging that Warren Gold, owner of the pain clinic, altered the terms of a lease without Parsley’s acceptance of those terms.

Gold, who signed the one-year lease May 11, added two phrases allowing Gold to get out of the agreement if the county “has problems with parking and lessee is forced to move out,” and also giving Gold the option “to extend the lease with a 30-day notice to lessor for another one or two years.”

But Gold’s attorney, Daniel Anderson, of St. Petersburg. said the allegation was just a pretense.

“The action to terminate the lease is just a pretext for the real reason,” said Anderson, “He just doesn’t like my client.”

He said nothing was said about the changes to the lease until about a week after receiving it.

Parsley even installed a fence for the pain clinic, Anderson said.

“Then when the other tenants started to complain, he said the lease was changed,” the attorney said.

Neither Parsley, nor his attorney, Bradley, could not be reached Thursday afternoon for comment.

“I understand people have different opinions about pain management clinics,” Anderson said, “and I have no doubt that some should not be open.”

But his client has a legitimate business and if there were any problems, the state would have dealt with them, Anderson said.

Parsley has received complaints from the other tenants of the office plaza about the number of vehicles in the parking lot with out-of-state license plates since the pain clinic opened in May and the patients hanging out in front of the businesses.

Gold moved his business to the Ellenton location from 1910 Manatee Ave. W., in Bradenton, after protesters picketed that building in early May, calling the clinic a “pill mill.”

Since then, the Bradenton City Council adopted a moratorium on pain clinics and the Manatee County Commission followed with a moratorium and permitting ordinance.

As of Thursday, Gold had yet to apply for a permit for the 1910 Medical Clinic, according to county Code Enforcement Officer Pete Dewar.

Dewar said he has until 5 p.m. Tuesday to apply, and the county has 15 days to process the application for the permit.

Anderson said he was not sure the local permitting was constitutional.

“State and federal regulations preempt local ordinances,” he said.

The county has received five applications as of Thursday, said Cheri Coryea, director of the Neighborhood Services Department, which is charged with processing the permit applications.

Gov. Charlie Crist signed into law tough rules for pain clinics, which go into effect Oct. 1.

Judge Brown also was to decide Thursday on a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, but Anderson said he withdrew that motion.

“We welcome a full and fair hearing on July 26,” Anderson said.

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