Pharmacists owe a duty to their customers to ensure that prescriptions are accurately filled and that any relevant health information, such as allergies, is considered prior to dispensing medication. If a pharmacist negligently fails to heed a warning in a customer’s health history that a certain medication is contraindicated, and dispenses the medication to the customer regardless, the pharmacy may be liable for any harm the customer suffers. The customer must prove that the harm was the result of the pharmacist’s negligence, however, and as shown in a recent case, if the customer fails to do so his or her claim may be dismissed. If you sustained harm because of a pharmacist’s negligence you should speak with a skillful Massachusetts personal injury attorney regarding what you must prove to recover compensation for your injuries.
Factual Background of the Case
Reportedly, the plaintiff visited his physician due to a head cold. He was prescribed a quinolone antibiotic, which he took to the defendant drugstore to have filed. Although there was nothing in the prescribing physician’s records indicating the plaintiff had a quinoline allergy, there was a “hardstop” warning in the defendant pharmacist’s database that the plaintiff was allergic to quinolones. Upon investigation, however, the pharmacist on duty found notes stating that plaintiff had previously been prescribed quinolines and that he denied having a quinoline allergy on numerous occasions. As such, the pharmacist decided to dispense the antibiotic to the plaintiff.
It is alleged that the plaintiff ultimately suffered an allergic reaction to the drug. Additionally, he alleged in caused him to suffer Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a serious skin disorder. The plaintiff filed a complaint against the pharmacy alleging, claims of negligence, product liability, and unfair trade practices. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, and a motion to preclude the plaintiff’s expert from testifying. The court granted the defendant’s motion and the plaintiff appealed.