What to do if I picked up a prescription with the wrong patient’s name on it?

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What to do if I picked up a prescription with the wrong patient’s name on it?

I picked up a prescription 4 days ago. I handed the teller my ID and payment. I woke up yesterday with a severe headache.I am currently on migraine suppressants and I also have an Rx for migraines if I happen to get one. I take it and it is gone within 10minutes or so. I thought it was odd that my headache was not gone after a few hours of taking the meds. When I went to go take my pilsl that I had just gotten, which was suppose to be a diet pill, I reviewed the bottle. I was given an Rx with the same last name as I, but the first name was not me and the Rx was not the one I was to have.

Asked on October 24, 2011 under Malpractice Law, New Mexico

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You could sue the pharmacy that gave you the wrong prescription for negligence; however, if all you had was a headache that lasted longer than it would have with the correct prescription, you won't recover much in your lawsuit.

Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care in this case that a reasonable pharmacy would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  Proof of negligence requires proving duty (of due care mentioned above), breach of duty (failure to exercise due care by giving you the wrong prescription), actual cause, proximate cause, and damages.

Actual cause means but for being given the wrong prescription, would you have been injured?  If the answer is no, actual cause has been established.  Proximate cause means were there any unforeseeable, intervening acts which would relieve the pharmacy of liability?  If the answer is no, proximate cause has been established.  Damages means the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit.  If you did not need medical treatment, you won't recover much.  If you had had medical treatment due to complications from the wrong prescription, your damages would include the medical bills.  The medical reports would have documented the nature and extent of your injury and would have been used to determine compensation for pain and suffering.  Documentation of wage loss would also have been recoverable if applicable.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Prior to filing a lawsuit against the pharmacy, it may be possible to settle the case with the pharmacy's insurance carrier.  If the case is settled with the pharmacy's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the pharmacy.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance carrier, you will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

Again, without documentation of medical treatment, you won't recover much in terms of compensation.  It is probably not worth filing a lawsuit if the pharmacy's insurance carrier accepts liability and offers some compensation.

 

 

 


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