Pharmacists May Admit Responsibility for Error but Still Deny Legal Liability in the Face of Pending Litigation

In day-to-day life, when someone admits to doing something wrong, they normally acknowledge that they are responsible for the consequences. However, in pharmacy error cases, that is not always the case. In fact, it is not uncommon for a pharmacist to acknowledge that a prescription mistake was made and then deny all legal liability. Pharmacists are able to do this due to a legal requirement inherent in pharmacy error cases called causation. Causation requires that the injured party prove their injuries were caused by the pharmacist’s mistake.

In a recent case filed by an Ohio man, the pharmacy allegedly responsible for an error that left the man with chronic kidney failure seems to be denying that they are legally responsible for his injuries, despite acknowledging a mistake was made.

According to a recent news article detailing the man’s plight, he went into the defendant pharmacy to fill a three-month supply of blood-pressure medication called Labetalol. However, the pharmacy tech provided the man with a prescription for the anti-psychotic Lamotrigine instead. After taking 14 pills of the unprescribed medication, the man started to suffer the signs of kidney failure. He was eventually hospitalized and now requires daily dialysis.

It was later discovered that the pharmacy tech who filled the prescription overrode an error message delivered by an automated system designed to ensure the accuracy of prescriptions. Not only that, but the pharmacist on duty checked off on the prescription, although the name of the medication and stamping on the pills themselves didn’t match the patient’s prescription.

The man and his wife report waiting a year to see if the pharmacy was going to make things right before filing a personal injury lawsuit. Since then, the pharmacist on duty has been deposed and admitted that an error was made. However, the couple has yet to receive an apology from the pharmacist or the pharmacy. Instead, the pharmacy has only issued official statements through a representative that the error was an aberration, and the pharmacy has numerous controls in place to prevent this very type of error.

The outcome of the couple’s case against the pharmacy is pending.

Have You Been a Victim of a Pharmacist’s Mistake?

If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of a prescription error, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. While many prescription errors do not result in serious injuries or death, the reality is that a sizable portion of these errors do cause irreversible harm to patients. The skilled personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at the Maryland-based law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have extensive experience handling pharmacy error cases, and we are prepared to seek out the medical experts necessary to prove our clients’ cases. Call 410-654-3600 to set up a free consultation to discuss your case with a dedicated pharmacy error attorney today.

More Blog Posts:

Registered Nurses Too Often Fail as a Last Line of Defense Against Medication Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, January 23, 2017.

Family of Pharmacy Error Victim Disappointed with Pharmacist’s Two-Month Suspension, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, February 1, 2017.

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