California Plastic Surgeon Faces Murder Charge in Patient’s Tragic Death

A prominent plastic surgeon associated with Divino Plastic Surgery in San Diego has been indicted on murder charges and is also confronted with multiple civil lawsuits. Here’s an overview of the ongoing legal actions surrounding Divino Plastic Surgery.

A plastic surgeon practicing in the San Diego region, Dr. Carlos Chacon from Divino Plastic Surgery in Bonita, Calif., has been accused of second-degree murder in connection with the untimely demise of a patient in 2018. Furthermore, Dr. Chacon faces numerous civil lawsuits from patients alleging instances of surgical mishaps. Here’s what you should know about the ongoing lawsuits against Divino Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Chacon pleads not guilty to criminal charges

According to a report by The San Diego Union-Tribune, Dr. Chacon entered a plea of not guilty in April 2023 in response to charges associated with the death of Megan Espinoza. Megan tragically passed away a few days after experiencing cardiac arrest during breast augmentation surgery.

Initially, Dr. Chacon was charged with involuntary manslaughter in relation to Espinoza’s death. However, after an investigation revealed that Dr. Chacon allegedly delayed calling 911 for three hours and even attended to other potential patients while Espinoza was in distress, the charge was upgraded to second-degree murder, as reported by The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Deputy District Attorney Gina Darvas from San Diego County asserts that Dr. Chacon prevented others at Divino Plastic Surgery from summoning emergency assistance, as stated by KGTV Channel 10 News in San Diego. “The defendant essentially doubled down on his practices and prevented other people from calling 911 and allowed Ms. Espinoza to essentially suffocate for a three-hour period before emergency personnel were finally summoned,” Darvas revealed in an interview with KGTV reporters following Dr. Chacon’s arraignment on April 10.

Prosecutors decided to add the second-degree charge due to Dr. Chacon’s alleged “conscious disregard for life,” according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Nurse at Divino Plastic Surgery also faces charges

Divino Plastic Surgery

Heather Lang Vass, a registered nurse who assisted Dr. Chacon during Espinoza’s surgery, has also been charged in connection with the patient’s death. As reported by Becker’s ASC Review, she pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in May 2023.

According to a 2022 report by the Medical Board of California (MBA) cited by KGTV, Espinoza received anesthesia from a nurse instead of a licensed anesthesiologist prior to her surgery. Two hours into the procedure, Espinoza went into cardiac arrest. Instead of immediately calling 911, Dr. Chacon sought advice from two anesthesiologists, one of whom instructed him to “immediately call 911,” according to the report.

Regrettably, Dr. Chacon allegedly waited for three hours before contacting emergency services. By the time Espinoza arrived at the hospital, she was declared brain-dead and succumbed to her condition five days later, KGTV reports.

Civil lawsuits filed against Divino Plastic Surgery

Espinoza’s family initiated a civil lawsuit against Dr. Chacon and Divino Plastic Surgery. In December 2022, the family reached an undisclosed settlement, as disclosed by KGTV.

Another former patient of Dr. Chacon, Natassia Louis, filed a lawsuit asserting that the doctor mishandled her surgery, resulting in a stomach perforation. Louis had visited Divino Plastic Surgery for a buttock lift but was convinced by Dr. Chacon during the consultation to undergo a “full mommy makeover,” which included a breast lift and fat transfer from her stomach to her buttocks, as revealed in an interview with NBC 7 in San Diego.

Shortly after her surgery on April 6, 2021, Louis reportedly developed a stomach perforation. Although Dr. Chacon agreed to perform a repair, someone from his office advised Louis to conduct online research about the doctor before consenting to additional procedures, NBC 7 reports.

Louis expressed her dismay, stating, “He shouldn’t be in business right now. No one stopped him after things started happening. No one stopped him, and he continues to be in business, and he continues to hurt people, and it could have been stopped.”

If you have undergone any procedures at Divino Plastic Surgery that raise concerns, it is advisable to seek legal consultation.

Phillip Clifford
Phillip Clifford

My name is Phillip Clifford, I am a passionate writer and avid observer of the fascinating world of celebrity plastic surgery. Based on my extensive research and fascination with celebrity lives, I uncover the stories behind the procedures, exploring the motivations, trends, and impact plastic surgery has on celebrities.

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