Statutes of Limitations in Maryland Pharmacy Error Cases

Maryland personal injury plaintiffs risk having their cases dismissed if they fail to file their claims within the applicable statute of limitations. In a recent case before a state appellate court, the court dismissed the pharmaceutical claim for failing to timely file a claim.

The plaintiff had filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies, alleging that they were liable for his gambling and other losses because he suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder as a result of taking Mirapex. Mirapex is an FDA-approved medication used to treat Parkinson’s disease, which the plaintiff began taking in 2006 to treat his Parkinson’s disease. After taking it for two years, he told his doctor that he was experiencing increased compulsive behaviors, including gambling. His doctor told him there was a possible association between Mirapex and compulsive behaviors. The plaintiff raised the issue with his doctor several months later. The plaintiff’s family eventually learned of substantial debts resulting from his gambling, at which point the doctor told the plaintiff not to take Mirapex anymore, advising him to use other therapeutic options instead.

When the plaintiff filed the lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturers, the companies claimed that the lawsuit was time-barred, arguing that the plaintiff filed the case after the two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims under state law. The plaintiff did not dispute that he knew or should have known that he had been wronged by the defendant by April 23, 2008, after discussing the effects of Mirapex with his doctor on more than one occasion. However, he did not file the claim until December 2010. The plaintiff argued that the statute of limitations was tolled until July 2010, because he continued taking Mirapex until that time, and because “continuing violations” are not time-barred. Under that state’s law, a personal injury claim must be filed within two years. However, under what it calls the “continuing accrual” principle, in continuing or recurring liability cases, “a cause of action accrues each time a wrongful act occurs,” which means that the statute of limitations begins again for that act.

The court explained that in this case, the plaintiff claimed that the pharmaceutical companies were at fault because they failed to adequately warn him of the side effects of taking Mirapex, which then caused his compulsive behaviors and financial losses. Thus, the court determined that his claim accrued in 2008 when he learned that there was an association between his compulsive behaviors and taking Mirapex. Therefore, the statute of limitations was not tolled, and the plaintiff’s claim was filed too late.

Tolling the Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations in a Maryland personal injury claim is generally three years. Md. Code Ann. Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-101. In Maryland, a statute of limitations may be tolled in different circumstances, such as a stated policy exception, if a plaintiff is tricked into allowing the statute of limitations to pass, or if the plaintiff is a minor or mentally incompetent.

Contact a Pharmacy Error Attorney

If you or a loved one has suffered from a Maryland prescription error, side effect, or other pharmaceutical error, contact an attorney as soon as possible. If you wait to talk to an attorney, you may be too late and your case may be dismissed, as in the case above. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, our Maryland attorneys have two decades of experience representing victims of prescription errors, car accidents, and other negligent conduct. Contact us at 1-800-654-1949 or 410-654-3600 or use our online form to set up a free consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Maryland Pharmacy Error Claims Based on a Manufacturer’s Failure to Provide Adequate Warnings, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, December 26, 2018.

Blood-Pressure Drug Recall May Put Maryland Patients at Risk, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, January 9, 2019.

Contact Information