Longtime Plano Obstetrician Evicted - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Longtime Plano Obstetrician Evicted

OB/GYN patients complain they were not informed that office had closed



    Dr. Paul Meggs, was kicked out of his office at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Plano after he failed to pay $67,000 in back rent, according to court documents. (Published Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013)

    A longtime Plano obstetrician suddenly closed his office, leaving patients wondering what happened to him.

    NBC 5 obtained court records that show he was being evicted.

    The physician, Dr. Paul Meggs, was kicked out of his office after Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Plano said he failed to pay $67,000 in back rent, according to court documents. He did not work directly for the hospital, Texas Health said.

    One of his pregnant patients said she was left without a doctor -- and without an explanation about what had happened.

    "It was total shock," said Mari Payne, of Grand Prairie. "We have no idea what's going on."

    Payne is 34 weeks along and had been seeing Meggs her entire pregnancy.

    "Sonograms, blood work, the whole nine yards; everything was fine and dandy," she said. "And then I show up for my 32-week checkup, and there's a note on the door letting me know that he's closed."

    She said her two sisters were also patients of Meggs and that their mother had seen him since 1994.

    Meggs previously practiced in Carrollton.

    "I had this trust with this doctor that I had seen for so long and then, suddenly, it's yanked out from under me," Payne said.

    A note from Collin County Constable Sammy Knapp, which is taped to the doctor's door, says, "Warning, this is the final warning for all persons to vacate the premises" before Feb. 16.

    The door was locked and the office appeared empty late Thursday.

    A separate note on the window reads: "This office is permanently closed and Dr. Meggs will not reopen at this location." The note also left a phone number for an answering service.

    A message left with Meggs' answering service by NBC 5 on Thursday was not returned. Also, nobody answered the door at his Plano home, which is not far from the hospital.

    Texas Health spokeswoman Jennifer Erickson said she could not say what had happened to the doctor but did release a written statement offering to help his patients.

    "Our first priority is to help patients secure access to continuation of their care," the statement said. "Texas Health Plano stands ready, willing and able to assist with the transfer of patients who want to see other providers to ensure continuity of care."

    Lonnie Simmons, the constable's chief deputy, said arrangements were being made to secure any medicine and medical records in the office.

    He also said it was extraordinary for a doctor to be evicted.

    "In my almost 29 years, this is my first one," he said.

    Court records show the hospital first filed for an eviction in May 2011, claiming he failed to pay $67,089 in rent and other payments. In June 2011 he failed to show up to a hearing, according to court documents, and the judge ruled in favor of the hospital.

    Meggs has no disciplinary record with the Texas Medical Board, according to the agency's online database. But doctors who close their offices are required to give their patients reasonable notice so they can find new physicians, said board spokeswoman Lee Hopper.

    "It's against the law to abandon your patients," she said.

    Hopper said she had no information on any investigation that may be under way. Investigations are not public unless they result in disciplinary action, she said.

    Payne said the doctor appeared normal in her visits with him and she had no problems -- until he disappeared.

    "We talked about a birth plan and pediatricians and the kind of labor and delivery we wanted and, suddenly, I'm needing to find a new doctor," she said. "It's bizarre."

    She said she found a new physician closer to her Grand Prairie home and met with him for the first time on Thursday.

    Payne said her baby will be a girl and has already been named Penelope.