A day after her 73rd birthday, a woman underwent surgery to have a gangrenous toe
amputated. Afterward, her doctor wrote a
prescription for 10 mm of potassium phosphate but changed his mind and turned the “1”
into a “2,” so the pharmacist would fill the script for 20
mm. Unfortunately, the pharmacy read it as “120 mm,” which
was “more potassium phosphate than what was once used in a lethal
cocktail given to death row inmates,” according to ksat.com July
30, 2014. Five hours later, the patient died.
The hospital settled the family’s
medical malpractice lawsuit and told reporters that it has instituted better medication training
for its employees as well as a computer program to help prevent human error.
Despite feeling “horrible” about the mistake, according to
his attorney, the doctor appealed the verdict against him.
The family intends to continue to “fight for their mother’s
memory” and to prevent a similar prescription overdose from happening
to someone else.
Their attorney said the woman’s
death was “a systematic failure of every potential safeguard, and that
obviously starts with the doctor.”
If you have questions about a medication error, attorney Chris Mellino
welcomes you to
contact our Cleveland office before Ohio’s statute of limitations expires
on your potential claim.
Judge Dismisses Prescription Overdose Lawsuit Because Statute of Limitations Expired
August 1, 2014,
Des Moines Register reported that a judge dismissed a widow’s lawsuit against a pain
relief doctor because she waited too long to file it.
Her attorney argued two points. First, he said the statute of limitations
clock shouldn’t have started ticking until after the widow had reason
to believe the pain management doctor was liable for her husband’s
death. Second, the couple had a child, who hadn’t been born yet
when the man died. Their daughter, who was named in the lawsuit, should
be able to file a claim up until her 10th birthday.
“The judge disagreed, writing that because the child wasn’t
born at the time of her father’s death, the responsibility to file
a timely lawsuit fell on [her mother],” desmoinesregister.com stated.
The doctor, who was acquitted of seven counts of manslaughter in May, still
faces several prescription overdose lawsuits and possible disciplinary
action from the state board of medicine.
Two Counties Sue Opioid Manufacturers
Two counties have filed a 105-page lawsuit against nine opioid manufacturers
for overstating the drugs’ benefits and understating their risks.
“The goal, according to the suit, was simple: to expand the market
for opioids from their FDA-approved use – for cancer and other end-of-life
pain – to chronic pain patients, a much larger market consisting
of more than 100 million Americans,”
Dynamic Chiropractic said. Defendants’ allegedly deceptive marketing practices created
a $100 billion per year industry. One-fifth of all doctor visits in 2010
resulted in a prescription for an opioid such as oxycodone, oxycontin,
or hydrocodone, per the lawsuit.
Plaintiffs claim the defendants also marketed their drugs directly to patients
— particularly the elderly and veterans, who were likely to have
insurance — and doctors. Quota-driven sales representatives visited
general practitioners on a frequent basis, held seminars at resorts, gave
them coupons for free drugs, and “even distributed plush toys and
hats, which the Drug Enforcement Administration (‘DEA’) says
had never been done before for a controlled substance,” Dynamic
If you believe a family member or loved one died because a doctor over-prescribed
Chris Mellino invites you to
contact our Cleveland office for a free consultation.