Dr. Norman J. Lachman

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Norman Lachman’s license cancelled by medical board

Norman J. Lachman had his license cancelled on the 13th of December 2011 by the Medical Board of California. The Board had places terms of probation on his license back in November 2009. The charges levelled against him were repeated negligent acts, failure to maintain accurate and adequate records, gross negligence and incompetence. The two patients involved were siblings.
Lachman sometimes hit one of the siblings with a cane or his hand. This was part of the bizarre behavior in which he engaged with the patient, according to an earlier document the Board has. The abuse extended to talking to the patient for up to four hours on a daily basis, either on the phone or via email. The patient would then be asked to submit a written analysis of their session. His writing would then be critiqued by Lachman. He was called crazy and stupid often, and was also called by a girl’s name. Lachman asked him to record porn videos for him. The former doctor threatened to make the patient eat dog food. He was asked not to talk to his sister, but Lachman himself made sexual innuendos with regard to her. Lachman also asked the patient to set him up with his own friends and send him naked pictures of girls he had dated.
According to the terms of the probation, his license would be cancelled if he did not engage in medical practice for two years, when he still lived in California.
The report from 2nd December 2009: The Medical Board of California revoked the license of Normal Lachman, a psychologist, on 9th November. He was placed on probation for five years when revocation was stayed. Terms and conditions applied in his probation period. This action was taken as a result of charges that the Board had placed against Lachman in 2007. He was charged with repeated negligent acts, failure to maintain accurate and adequate records, gross negligence and incompetence. The charges had to do with 2 patients: M.B., who was 25 years old at the time, and his sister, I.B.
He treated M.B. from the end of 2000 up till April of 2004. He did not maintain any sort of records for his therapy sessions with M.B., or with I.B., whom he treated from 2000 as well, up to 2003. Both patients had been in family therapy with the psychologist since the time they were teenagers. Many of their therapy sessions were carried out through email or telephone. Lachman said that they needed daily sessions. These sessions often went on for 3 – 4 hours each. M.B. also met Lachman in the weekends, on both Saturday and Sunday. These sessions also lasted a minimum of three hours. He was studying for the Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) then, and was working full time too. But Lachman called him after 9 in the night. He demanded that M.B. submit written analyses of the conversations they had over the phone, before he went to bed. Lachman then critiqued his essays. In addition to this, M.B. was also asked to work on written assignments based on notes that Lachman made. M.B. told Lachman about his work schedule, and asked for all this homework to be reduced. But Lachman simply refused.
Lachman’s home was where face to face sessions were conducted. On occasion, he hit M.B. in the chest, stomach and legs using a cane. At least once, he hit M.B. in the testicles with his hand. M.B. was also called crazy and stupid over the course of their sessions. Dr. J.M. attended conjoint sessions along with Lachman as M.B.’s psychologist. He confirmed what M.B. had said and agreed that Lachman had emotionally abused M.B.
M.B. alleged that Lachman never gave him a bill for any services because he had been receiving disability from a car accident that had taken place in 1994. M.B. was directed by Lachman to make his checks payable to an accountant of his. He was also told not to deduct his services as medical expenses on his tax forms. M.B. brought up the fact that he had an extra computer during one of their sessions. Lachman asked him to give him the computer. M.B. agreed. Two years after this, Lachman called the computer a piece of crap. He asked M.B. to get him a new one, for a cost of $3,400. M.B. did when Lachman insisted.
Lachman also brought in a system where he imposed fines on Lachman for various “infarctions”. For example, if Lachman was allowed to do a lot of the talking in a session, or if M.B. made an inappropriate remark, then M.B. would have to pay Lachman a fine. These fines came up to $80,000 in six months. M.B. was told that he had to take out a bank loan to pay this. When M.B. did not qualify for the loan, Lachman “forgave the debt”.

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