Truck Accident Multimillion-Dollar Settlement.

"M.A.," a 30-year-old man, was driving to work in New Mexico. Suddenly a commercial truck veered across the center line and struck his vehicle head on. M.A. died at the scene. The McNeely Stephenson firm was hired shortly after the crash to represent the family of the deceased.

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Indianapolis Pharmacy Errors

Medications are an integral part of healthcare in America, and the global pharmaceutical industry is booming. That’s why they’re known as Big Pharma.

Pharmacy Mistake Indiana

Worldwide, the market is worth $300 billion a year, according to the World Health Organization. In 2013, Americans ordered over 3.9 billion prescriptions from retail pharmacies; Indiana pharmacists handled more than 86 million prescriptions. These numbers don’t reflect drugs prescribed during a hospital stay or in nursing homes, from compounding pharmacies and mail order companies.

More than likely, you and your family members are among those who take prescription drugs for one ailment or another, either for short-term relief or for long-term treatment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 48.5% of the U.S. population have used at least one prescription drug in the past 30 days, and 21.7% have used three or more.

Most of the time, we pick up the prescription, take it home and ingest it as instructed — no problem. But the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies estimates more than 4,000 people are injured every day in the U.S. because of a medication mistake made by a medical professional or pharmacist.

Typical Rx Mistakes

There are several mistakes by pharmacists working behind the counter that can have disastrous consequences for unsuspecting customers:

  • Giving the patient the wrong drug
  • Filling the Rx with the right drug but in the wrong dosage
  • Failing to ask the prescribing doctor for clarification
  • Misreading the order
  • Failing to provide instruction or counseling to the user
  • Confusing drugs with similar names
  • Failing to identify potential drug interactions.

Common Reasons for Rx Errors

With all the orders they have to fill and the restrictions placed on them by their employers, some pharmacists say they constantly worry about their patients’ safety. A whistleblower lawsuit filed in a Pennsylvania federal court (Joseph Zorek v. CVS Caremark) gives some insight into why. In this plaintiff’s experience, his pharmacy sought to maximize profits by cutting staff, increasing the workload of remaining employees. At the same time, management used “metrics” to speed along the process, often at the expense of accuracy. This included timing and grading pharmacists on how fast they filled orders. Zorek called it “McPharmacy.”

CVS is not the only retail giant that has been in the public eye for pharmacy errors. Rite Aid and Walgreens have also been sued by numerous patients who were harmed by taking the drug they were handed at the store.

Most drug store pharmacy departments are bustling places. Customers are phoning in refill requests or asking for information; fax machines are ringing; cars are lining up in the drive-through. In many stores, pharmacists are also expected to administer vaccine injections on demand. All of these interruptions contribute to the risk that the pharmacist will lose focus and make a dispensing error.

A common mistake is the substitution of one drug for another drug with a similar sounding name. More than 1,400 commonly used drugs are involved in errors linked to drug names that look alike or sound alike, according to U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) data. The difference in just a letter or two can spell the difference between life and death for a patient given the wrong drug.


real-life cases

“B.K.” was driving on a two-lane road one Sunday afternoon with his mother in the front seat and his brother and sister-in-law in the back seat when his life was forever changed. B.K. was struck head on by D.C.

D.C. had spent the day drinking with a friend and had stopped at a restaurant less than five miles from the point of the accident where D.C. had been served several drinks. D.C.’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

As a result of the terrible wreck, B.K. received devastating injuries, which included multiple broken bones, facial fractures, and loss of vision. B.K.’s mother, brother, and sister-in-law were all killed in the accident.

As one would anticipate, D.C. had virtually no insurance. Stephenson, through his thorough and detailed investigation, was able to prepare claims against the restaurant and those that provided the alcohol.

Stephenson pursued dram shop claims against those responsible CASE SUMMARY

D.H. was a competitive bicyclist who was riding in preparation for a cross-country fundraising ride. In the spring of 2010, D.H. was riding across an old steel-grated deck bridge in Shelby County when he hit a hole in the bridge and flipped over the handlebars of his bike. The impact to the bridge decking caused severe injuries to his face, teeth, tongue, and elbow.

Through the investigation, they were able to learn as early as 1998, the bridge inspection reports showed the bridge in question needed to be replaced. The county never authorized additional inspections. The county obtained $844,000 in funding for the replacement of the bridge in 2000, but the Historical Society and adjacent property owners wanted the bridge repaired rather than replaced.

This crash could have been avoided if the inspectors and county had done their jobs. CASE SUMMARY

Our client (“D.W.”) was a front-seat passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a UDF truck making deliveries. D.W. received broken arms and legs, as well as internal injuries. Stephenson was retained by D.W.’s personal counsel to prepare and try the case. Discovery determined that the UDF driver had multiple driving violations. Stephenson retained numerous experts to show the jury the devastating effects of the injuries. Before trial, the defendant’s company stated that a jury in a small southern county in Indiana would never return a verdict for $1 million in this case.

The defendant was correct; the verdict was twice that amount. CASE SUMMARY

After an Indiana Pharmacy Error...

Indianapolis Lawsuit Settlement Amounts

Medication errors are preventable errors, not unlike distracted driving. Pharmacies which institute policies and practices that put their customers at risk of receiving a bad prescription can be held accountable for their pharmacists’ negligent actions.

Medical malpractice takes many forms, and pharmacy error is one of them. If you or a loved one has been harmed by an Indiana pharmacy error, McNeely Stephenson in Indianapolis wants to help you obtain compensation for your injury. We urge you to call 1-855-206-2555 or to fill out our online contact form to arrange for a free consultation. We will carefully evaluate your claim to determine whether pharmacological and healthcare standards were met in your situation.

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March 29, 2019 / Premises Liability, Wrongful Death
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