NewsTeam 10 Investigates


Court settlement reached after woman dies following plastic surgery operation

Settlement reached in Bonita plastic surgery death case
Dr. Carlos Chacon
Posted at 5:52 PM, Dec 16, 2022

BONITA, Calif. (KGTV) - A young mother's family is speaking out after reaching a settlement agreement with the Bonita plastic surgeon who's accused in her death.

It's been a year since Dr. Carlos Chacon was criminally charged after 36-year-old Megan Espinoza died, but he is still able to see patients.

“I feel like my real closure will be when he's not practicing anymore,” husband Moe Espinoza told ABC 10News.

Moe lives just north of Los Angeles. He left San Diego so that he could be closer to his extended family to help him raise their two little boys.

“I feel that they're thriving in school. They're enjoying life as much as they possibly can without a mother."

ABC 10News spoke to Moe just after learning that his family reached a settlement agreement this month with Dr. Chacon and Divino Plastic Surgery Center.

Megan died in 2018 after undergoing a routine operation. Dr. Chacon and his nurse, Heather Lang, were charged in part with involuntary manslaughter. They've been allowed to keep practicing with some limitations as they can only perform surgeries if a licensed anesthesiologist or CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) is present.

Due to California law, they are not required to tell any patients about the criminal charges.

Two other lawsuits against Dr. Chacon are pending. The preliminary hearing for his criminal case has been pushed back at least four times.

His surgical center's accreditation was pulled over the summer but as of this Friday, his website still showed its logo. The AAAHC told ABC 10News, "We appreciate the notice to us that they have our logo on their website. Divino is no longer accredited with AAAHC."

Bay Area attorney and doctor Christian Jagusch is handling Megan's case and represents others who claim to have been victimized by Dr. Chacon. “This is criminal behavior, and he is still allowed to practice. He recently renewed his medical license with only these minimal restrictions and he's still seeing patients. This should give great pause to legislators that we allow this type of behavior,” said Dr. Jagusch.

David Gorcey is Megan’s brother and also lives in the Bay Area. He believes that lawmakers need to expand transparency for patients about their doctors. “I think that what we all hope is that our legislators just simply do the right thing, regardless of who is donating to their campaigns and that they're doing what they're there to do which is to pass legislation that's in the public's interest and to be brave if that's what it takes but to actually do something about this,” he told ABC 10News.

According to the San Diego County District Attorney’s court calendar, the preliminary hearing for the criminal charges is scheduled for March 7th.

ABC 10News reached out to Dr. Chacon's attorneys for a comment but has not heard back as of publishing time.