A federal employment termination lawsuit against a major corporation had the unintended consequence of revealing a potentially unlawful scheme of illegally operated pharmacies. Please note, however, that just because a former employee made allegations in his complaint doesn’t necessarily mean that they are true. Individuals can allege anything they want in a complaint, and may have a greater incentive following termination.
The case, Weidman v. EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION, Dist. Ct., ED Va. (2013), was filed in federal court following the plaintiff’s termination after nearly four years of employment.
The plaintiff was employed as a senior physician in a Virginia office, and claims that, after working for the company for two years, he discovered that it had been operating illegal pharmacies. Plaintiff claimed that large quantities of medication were being illegally stockpiled in the clinic in which he was working, as well as in other locations. Plaintiff did not state for what reason the medication was being collected. He further alleged that many of the senior managers were aware of the illegal activities, and that they requested he participate in a purported scheme involving a pharmacy which was allegedly distributing the stockpiled medications to ExxonMobil employees.
In January 2010, Plaintiff claims that he informed one of the defendant managers that he would not obtain a New Jersey medical license to be used at an ExxonMobil medical clinic so long as the clinic was operating an illegal pharmacy. In response to this, Plaintiff alleges that the defendant became physically intimidating toward Plaintiff.
Following plaintiff’s reports of violations, he claims that the various defendants embarked on a “campaign of retaliation” which involved humiliating plaintiff, and making statements that he was a poor performer, implying that he was a pedophile at an office gathering, and various other allegations. Plaintiff alleges that he reported via email his suspicions that the corporation had been violating various state pharmacy laws, and that the department for which he worked was allowing legal violations to occur. According to the case, a subsequent investigation revealed no illegal activity, and no harassment of the plaintiff. Throughout an additional investigation, following another email by plaintiff to undisclosed management recipients, a separate defendant allegedly admitted to the plaintiff that the retaliation against him had been covered up, and that illegal pharmacy activity was going on. The corporation maintained that no laws had been broken throughout the ordeal.
After reviewing the various allegations, and being that this decision was regarding a motion to dismiss, the court found that the plaintiff failed to allege specific facts regarding fraud, wrongful discharge, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and that his personal injury claim must be pursued subsequent to the relevant workers’ compensation agency. Thus, the motion to dismiss was granted, ending the lawsuit.
Aside from the potential improper pharmacy allegations, it is noteworthy that the plaintiff decided to represent himself in this matter, and most likely lost on all of his claims as a result. In dealing with large corporations, who can and will hire well established law firms, it is critical to hire an experience plaintiff’s law firm that can represent you competently and arduously in order to ensure the best possible result.
As previously stated, just because the plaintiff alleged that illegal pharmacy activity was taking place doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s true. In isolation, however, this case provides a hypothetical example of how a prescribing doctor or fulfilling pharmacist may face corporate culture, which requires them to meet the demands of their employer, or look elsewhere for alternate employment opportunities. In large retail stores, this can often mean that pharmacists are required to fulfill a greater volume of prescriptions, regardless of whether they feel confident in their ability to do so while observing the relevant required safeguards to ensure prescription accuracy.
If you or a loved one has been injured or died as a result of a medication or pharmacy dispensing error, contact the experienced Maryland prescription error attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. Whether you or a loved one were harmed by medication that was improperly prescribed, dispensed, or administered, or you suffered as a result of medication side effects, contact us today to discuss your case. We can be reached at (800) 654-1949 or through our website.
More Blog Posts:
Settlement in Hospital Pharmacy Case Demonstrates Weaknesses in Systematic Checks, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, published December 19, 2013
Compounding Pharmacy and Drug Maker at Center of Contamination Lawsuit, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, published December 12, 2013