Two Lawsuits Accuse Pharmacy of Dispensing Wrong Dosage of Seizure Medication

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by | Apr 5, 2012 | Pharmacy Errors

Two families have sued a pharmacy in Gig Harbor, Washington for multiple alleged medication errors involving incorrect doses of anti-seizure medication dispensed to two children. Both children reportedly suffered serious adverse reactions to the high doses they received at Olympic Pharmacy.

Kaeley Triller filled a prescription for her three year-old son, Tristan, in January at Olympic. After Tristan took the medication, Triller says that he began to suffer insomnia, convulsions, and hallucinations. She described his behavior as that of a “drunken sailor.” She rushed him to the emergency room, where the staff determined that the child had taken an overdose. The medication dosage dispensed by the pharmacy was four times greater than the prescribed amount. Doctors cleared Tristan of any further concerns related to the medication, and Triller was prepared to let the matter drop until she learned about another child who had received two incorrect doses of anti-seizure medicine from the same pharmacy.

In 2009, Laura Carlson went to Olympic to pick up a prescription for her then-11 year-old son, Chad. Chad’s doctor had written him a prescription for eight mls. of Lorazepam, a very powerful medication used to treat seizures, anxiety, and other conditions. The pharmacy gave her a single pre-filled syringe of the medication. Chad took the medication and proceeded to spend the next four days in the hospital with hallucinations. At first, the child complained of dizziness, but he gradually became non-responsive. Carlson learned that he had taken eight times more than the prescribed amount of Lorazepam. The prescription said to fill eight syringes with one ml. each, rather than one with all the medication.

By June 2011, Chad, now thirteen years old, had switched from injections to tablets. Carlson picked up his prescription at Olympic, and it caused Chad to become violently ill, featuring near-constant vomiting. The family determined that, rather than the prescribed 300 mg tablets, the pharmacy had given them 600 mg tablets. Chad had therefore taken twice the prescribed dosage.

Both families say that the pharmacy’s owners did not follow up on the prescription issues. They have filed two separate lawsuits against Olympic, each alleging that it negligently dispensed a dangerously-high dose of anti-seizure medications, leading to life-threatening situations for both children. This, they claim, caused damages to their children in the form of medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more. Both Triller and Carlson have said that they would like to see that the pharmacy does not make this sort of error again with another family.

To prevail on a claim of negligence, a plaintiff must prove that a defendant owed a duty of care and breached that duty. The plaintiff must also prove that this breach caused them actual, measurable damages. Generally speaking, people owe a duty to one another to behave in a reasonably safe manner, and not to put anyone at unnecessary or unreasonable risk of harm. Pharmacists, much like doctors and other licensed professionals, have a higher duty of care applied to their professional conduct. This is because pharmacists’ responsibilities can have a much deeper and more serious impact on people’s health and safety than most people’s everyday actions.

Kansas City pharmacy error lawyer Doug Horn helps people who have suffered injury due to a medication error in a pharmacy or hospital recover compensation for their damages. For a free and confidential consultation, contact us today through our website or at (816) 795-7500.