Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of Texas affirmed the dismissal of a woman’s case after she failed to provide the requisite expert opinion supporting her claim within the required time period. In the case of Randol Mill Pharmacy v. Miller, the court determined that the a claim alleging negligence in a pharmacy’s compounding services qualifies as a “health care liability claim” and must therefore comply with the applicable rules governing those claims.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff in the case was prescribed a special prescription by her doctor to treat her Hepatitis C. The prescription was not available in a mass-produced form, so a pharmacy had to create the medicine in a process called “compounding.” However, after a few weeks of taking the medication, the woman suffered a serious adverse reaction, resulting in several blood transfusions and ultimately ending in her losing sight in both of her eyes.
The woman filed suit against the pharmacy, alleging that the pharmacy “breached their implied warranties in the design, manufacture, inspection, marketing, and/or distribution.” She also filed suit against the doctor, but it was severed and tried separately.
The Pharmacy’s Successful Defense
The pharmacy claimed that the claim asserted against it qualified as a “heath care liability claim,” and it was governed under the State’s Medical Liability Act, which requires that an expert report be submitted to the court justifying the plaintiff’s legal position within 120 days of filing suit. The trial court agreed with the defendant and dismissed the plaintiff’s case. The plaintiff appealed.
The Defendants Win on Appeal
The appellate court began by noting that it is well-settled that a traditional pharmacy mis-fill claim is covered under the Act. However, the plaintiff attempted to convince the court that her claim was not one governed by the Medical Liability Act because it involved compounding, rather than simply filling a prescription.
The Court was not persuaded and held in favor of the defendants. The Court reasoned that claims against pharmacists are generally governed by the Act, and this claim was not so different as to warrant different treatment.
Maryland Pharmacy Error Cases
While this case took place in Texas, the laws in Maryland regarding pharmacy error cases and medical malpractice cases are similar. Any medical malpractice case in Maryland must be accompanied by a “certificate of merit” that is prepared by a qualified expert within 90 days of the case’s inception. Similarly, generally speaking medical malpractice cases must be brought within five years of the incident or within three years of the discovery of the cause of action. If you have any questions about a Maryland pharmacy error case, or medical malpractice case, contact a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney.
Have You Been Injured by a Medical Professional’s Negligence?
If you have been injured after being provided the wrong medication, dose, or instructions by a pharmacist, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. However, as in the case discussed above, the laws in Maryland are very specific regarding these types of cases, and an experienced attorney should be consulted prior to filing. To speak with a dedicated pharmacy error attorney about your case, call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation. Calling is free, and we won’t send you a bill unless we are successful in your case.
More Blog Posts:
Woman Hospitalized for “Poisoning” After Pharmacist’s Error, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, February 23, 2015.
Medical Journal Recommends Physicians and Pharmacists Convert Completely to the Metric System to Avoid Medication Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, May 4, 2015.