Articles Posted in Wrongful Birth

While many pharmacy errors are the result of an overworked or distracted pharmacist who provides the patient with the incorrect drug, there are a certain number of errors made each year due to prescription drugs being mis-labeled or mis-packaged by the drug’s manufacturer. In these cases, it is likely that the pharmacist on duty double-checked the prescription and provided the patient what he or she thought to be the correct medication, but due to a mistake that occurred before the pharmacist ever had control of the medication, the patient was provided with the wrong medication.

Of course, drug manufacturers have a duty to properly package their products, as well as to include all relevant and necessary warnings on the packaging. When a drug leaves the manufacturer’s control with incorrect labeling, there is often little other parties can do to catch and fix the error. There are some circumstances, however, in which such an error will not likely excuse the pharmacist, and these are when the pharmacist has the occasion to see the unpackaged medication or is otherwise made aware of the error.

Not all packaging errors result in the patient being provided the wrong medication entirely. In fact, according to one recent news report, mis-packaged birth control medication resulted in over 100 unplanned pregnancies. According to one news source reporting on the 2011 recall, the order of the pills was reversed in the packaging. This resulted in a much higher chance of pregnancy.

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You may have heard of a wrongful death claim that is brought by an aggrieved loved one after the passing of their family member due to the negligence of someone else. However, there also exists a “wrongful birth” claim that can arise when a woman becomes pregnant despite her best efforts to prevent the pregnancy.

There are several kinds of birth control, and none of them are 100% effective all of the time. However, when a medication or a birth control device works properly, they are generally about 99% effective. If a birth control medication fails to do what it is designed to do, and a woman becomes pregnant, the woman may be able file a wrongful life claim against the manufacturer of the medical device or medication and potentially against the doctor as well.

Each case is different, but it is standard that a successful plaintiff is able to recover the expenses of the medical treatment sought throughout the pregnancy. In some cases, she may be able to recover the costs of raising the child, up to the age of 18.

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