Help! Local pharmacy gave me the wrong medication...

by Sonja
(Slidell, LA, USA)

I am in the process of negotiating a settlement with the claims adjusters for a huge pharmacy chain in which I was given the wrong prescription. I thought I was taking allegra but I was taking lisinopril, a high blood pressure medication.

I took 3 pills of the medication within a 24 hr span because I wasn't getting any relief for my allergies. I had severe allergic reactions, shortness of breath, severe rash over my upper torsel, dizziness lightheadness.

I am a single parent and my son and I were in a movie when I started experiencing these symptoms. I immediately went home to see what medication was prescribed and realized I was having an allergic reaction.

I went straight to the ER. They gave me steroid injections and antihistamine prescription. It was horrible. I had my son take pictures of the rash. They want to offer me $2500 for pain and suffering. That is a slap in the face. I could have lost my life.

The adjuster told me that don't pay on what if's, they pay on the medical expenses. I need to know how do I go about getting more money for emotional damages caused to my 12 yr old son and I and prove negligence and causation on their parts?

Emotional distress and pain and suffering is definitely something that we dealt with. I could have died.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Help! Local pharmacy gave me the wrong medication...":

Your case, while stressful, might be based on speculation and for this, insurance companies almost always deny coverage.

Negligence is based on the four prong test of duty, breach, causation and damages. Of course the pharmacy had a duty to give you the correct prescription but in assessing duty, you must also look at reasonableness.

Is it reasonable that you might get the wrong prescription? With this comes a duty called "mitigation." This means that a court will look at anything you could have done to address the situation.

For example, Should you have looked at the prescription bottle more closely? Did you take more than the recommended dosage? Did you get a pharmacist consult at the time that you obtained the prescription? I'm not saying that you did or did not do these things, but they will certainly be taken into consideration.

Insurance adjusters look at the provable facts which is why they are not outright denying liability here. This is not a case of WHETHER there is liability as much as HOW MUCH the liability is worth.

Pain and suffering is what they believe they are compensating you for by offering $2500.00. I think your best shot is submitting a separate claim for your son, but recognize that emotional distress of "witnessing" an event is also difficult to prove.

As a general rule, however insurance companies will not deal in speculative damages, that is the "woulda, coulda, shoulda" factors of liability.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

P.S. Please help us out by sharing this site...

Comments for Help! Local pharmacy gave me the wrong medication...

Click here to add your own comments

Thanks for your advice
by: Sonja

Thanks a lot for your advice. I will definitely contact a lawyer locally.

by: Terri

I know what you saying, for the adjusters to base payment on medical bills is crazy. The pain I have I am in tears because breaking a bone really really hurts.

I know they are there just to save the company they work for money, but what about the human side of them? We as regular folks need to find out what we can do about this type of practice. Like you said you could have died, then what? They rather pay what the claim is worth if you died. I just do not get it.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Medication Error Questions

How Much Is Your Claim Worth?

Find out now with a FREE case review from an attorney...

How Much Are Your
Injuries Worth?

Find out with a
free attorney review: