Fatal Prescription Errors and Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Prescription drugs can be dangerous. Indeed, that is exactly why the government does not allow for them to be purchased over-the-counter and requires that a patient be prescribed the medication by a physician and then must pick up the medication at a pharmacy. The intent of creating a system like this one is that there are several lines of defense against a patient taking a medication that could be harmful to their health.

However, sometimes pharmacists make mistakes. The seriousness of pharmacy errors varies, but in many cases long-term and irreversible damage is caused by taking a non-prescribed medication. In other cases, a patient may die because of the side effects they experience from the prescribed drug or from the body’s reaction to not getting the medicine that they were prescribed. In these cases, the victim’s family may be able to pursue a case against the responsible pharmacist through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Wrongful death lawsuits seek compensation for the loss of a loved one due to a negligent action of another party. These cases are brought on behalf of the deceased, usually by a family member of the victim. In fact, one of the requirements of a Maryland wrongful death lawsuit is that it be brought by the proper party. Here in Maryland, that means that the lawsuit must be filed by a spouse, parent, or child of the deceased, if one exists. This category of people is called primary beneficiaries. If no primary beneficiary exists, then a secondary beneficiary may file the lawsuit. Establishing who qualifies as a secondary beneficiary can be tricky, but generally speaking that person must be related to the deceased by blood or marriage, and must have relied on the deceased for financial support.

Woman Dies After Being Given the Wrong Medication at Her Local Pharmacy

Earlier this month, an 86-year-old woman passed away from a hypoglycemic brain injury after she was provided with the wrong medication by her pharmacist. According to one news report, the woman was given diabetes medication that was prescribed to another woman with a similar last name. Apparently, the pharmacist did not take the time to fully read the woman’s name before giving her the medication. A pharmacy spokesperson told reporters that it is the usual practice to keep prescription in alphabetical order, however, police noted that not all prescriptions were arranged alphabetically. It remains to be seen if the woman’s family will pursue a wrongful death claim against the pharmacist.

Have You Been Given the Wrong Medication by Your Local Pharmacist?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured after being given the wrong prescription at a Maryland or Washington D.C. pharmacy, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Although these cases seem simple in theory, in practice they are often hard-fought. Be sure that you do everything possible to ensure a fair chance of recovery by calling 410-654-3600 to speak with a dedicated attorney about your case. Calling is free and will not result in any liability on your part unless we are ultimately able to help you seek the recovery to deserve.

More Blog Posts:

What to Do if the Pharmacist Gives You the Wrong Medication, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, March 1, 2016.

Protecting Yourself against Serious Pharmacy Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, February 19, 2016.

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