Who Can I Sue for Pharmacist Malpractice?
If you have a personal injury or wrongful death claim for pharmacist malpractice, you may be able to sue the pharmacist, a pharmacy, a hospital, a clinic and the doctor who wrote the prescription. Who you can sue and for how much depends on the facts of your case.
In a malpractice lawsuit, the elements of the case usually include the following:
- a duty of care;
- that duty of care was breached;
- the breach of that duty caused harm; and
Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman are our lead lawyers for these cases. You can call 612-338-0202 to contact them and get your free consultation.
Duty of Care
Pharmacists have a duty of care to the people whose prescriptions they fill. This means that if you had a prescription filled by a pharmacist, that professional owes you a duty of care. This is true whether he or she is working at a drug store, hospital, clinic or any location. This duty of care extends to the employing company, hospital or clinic where the person was working at the time the prescription was filled. In a medication error lawsuit, the attorney needs to prove that the patient was owed a duty of care.
Breach of Duty of Care
A pharmacist has a degree and holds himself or herself out as having the training and ability to accurately fill prescriptions. They are, therefore, held to a high duty of care (standard of care) that requires absolute accuracy in order processing. When there is a medication error while filling a prescription, there is a presumption of negligence (a breach of the duty of care). In a lawsuit, the attorney needs to prove that the patient was given the wrong medication, the wrong dose of the medication, the wrong directions for taking the medication or some other error.
Errors can come in many forms, including the following:
- The patient was given another patient’s prescription.
- The patient was given a medication that had a name similar to the prescribed medication (for example, Toprol and Tegretol).
- The pharmacist misread the prescribing doctor’s handwriting. This still happens, and generally the prescribing doctor can also be found liable in these cases.
- A patient is given the wrong dose.
- A patient is given a medication that has been compounded incorrectly. Some medications are compounded. An error can occur if the medication has been compounded with a larger dosage of the medication than intended. For example, a case involving compounded colchicine where the dosage was 10 times the intended dosage. Three people died.
- The patient is given the right drug but the wrong directions.
Compensation for Harm
“Damages” usually involve compensation for medical expenses, loss of earnings, disability, pain and suffering, emotional distress and any other amount that would be considered necessary to compensate the patient for his or her losses. In rare cases, punitive damages may apply. Punitive damages are monetary amounts that are meant to punish bad behavior.
In a pharmacist malpractice wrongful death case, amounts recoverable for pain and suffering may be limited or not provided for under wrongful death statutes. Our attorneys have significant experience with wrongful death cases. Contact them regarding “pain and suffering” and how recoveries for “loss of care and comfort” can provide additional compensation in wrongful death cases.
Pharmacy Malpractice Attorney
An example of our cases in this area is one involving a compounding pharmacy. These companies take medications and change their form or composition for use by individual patients, if they are following the law. We recently won a $1,050,000.00 wrongful death settlement on behalf of a family whose elderly mother died as a result of an overdose of pain medication. The company had wrongfully compounded the medication to be 8-10 times stronger than prescribed.
We are also handling cases of serious injury caused by bacteria in medication. In one of our cases, tainted medication was responsible for hundreds of cases of spinal meningitis and epidural abscess. These infections can be fatal.
To contact attorney Fred Pritzker or another medical malpractice lawyer at our firm, call 612-338-0202 or click here now. Our law firm is listed in U.S. World and News Report’s The Best Law Firms in America.
Most of these cases involve a patient getting the wrong prescription. Read about a Walgreens prescription error and lawsuit and a CVS lawsuit. There have been a number of claims against Walgreens involving prescription errors, including wrong medication, wrong dose and mislabeling. We represent clients in malpractice medication error lawsuits nationwide. To protect yourself from medication errors, we have provided 14 Questions to Ask Your Pharmacist.