When Are Punitive Damages Available in Maryland Prescription Error Cases?

Prescription errors made by pharmacies or medical institutions may be grounds for a lawsuit if the patient was injured as a result of the prescription error. A lawsuit may be filed against a pharmacist and the pharmacy for Maryland prescription errors in instances of negligent or willful conduct by the individual or the organization. In a negligence claim, a patient must show that the individual or organization failed to meet the relevant standard of care by giving the patient medication with the incorrect dosage or drug. A plaintiff must demonstrate that it was more probable than not that the pharmacist’s wrongful conduct caused the injury the patient suffered. In some instances, the wrongful conduct may be so serious as to warrant punitive damages against the individual or the organization.

In Maryland, normally, plaintiffs can recover damages for economic damages, such as medical bills, wage loss, and other losses and expenses, as well as non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. These damages are referred to as compensatory damages, because they are meant to compensate the plaintiff.

In contrast, punitive damages are not concerned with compensating the plaintiff for their losses but rather to punish the defendant for bad conduct and to deter others from engaging in such conduct. Under Maryland law, in order to warrant punitive damages in a case, a plaintiff must show by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with actual malice, or with knowing and deliberate wrongdoing.

CVS Under Investigation After Concerns with Prescription Errors Rate

A CVS pharmacy is under investigation after repeated medication errors were discovered, according to one news source. A compliance officer in the state found a 9.5 percent rate of prescription misfills after reviewing prescriptions filled at the pharmacy. The same CVS pharmacy was the subject of a recent complaint after one of its pharmacists made an error in filling a prescription by only giving a patient one-fourth of the patient’s prescribed dose. According to the complaint, the patient experienced increased and more powerful seizures as a result of the error.

The state’s pharmacy board said it would explore the issue of staffing levels; an issue was that recently brought to light after a national news report. Pharmacists across the country recently raised complaints over staffing cuts among big retail pharmacy chains, claiming that their workload is negatively impacting patient care in this country. CVS is one of the pharmacies that has been singled out, with some pointing to internal documents reflecting metrics the company sought to meet concerning automatic refills, proactive refill requests, and long-term medication supplies. A spokesperson for the company said it has an outstanding patient safety record and that it continues to make improvements in its operations.

Contact a Baltimore Attorney Representing Injured Patients

If you have been the victim of a prescription error in the Baltimore region, contact an attorney that represents injured patients and can assess your claim. The attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, can evaluate the viability of your claim. Our injury attorneys represent victims of Maryland prescription errors, medical malpractice, and other negligent conduct and have more than 20 years litigating claims related to pharmacy misfills and medication errors. Contact us at 1-800-654-1949 or fill out our online form for a free consultation.

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