The family of Keith Scofield, a Frederick man who died 20 days after being sold the wrong drug for diabetes at a local Wal-Mart, is suing the retail chain for $50 million in a wrongful death lawsuit. The documents were filed in Frederick County Circuit Court on December 1.
According to the documents, Scofield died on Jan 2, 2006 after taking a prescription that was five times stronger than the over-the-counter dose he had requested at the Guilford Drive Store on December 13. In the complaint, Wal-Mart is being accused of gross negligence related to insulin poisoning. This includes placing the public at risk and failing to properly train pharmacy employees.
Mr. Scofield’s parents and his brother Kraig Scofield are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Kraig was with Keith when a when a Wal-Mart employee gave Keith Humulin R (u-500) instead of Humulin R (u-100). The brothers were not aware that they had been given the wrong medication.
“Wal-Mart failed to implement a proper practice for training pharmacists how to execute their duties and their obligations under Maryland law,” Mr. Quinn wrote in the documents. “Wal-Mart had actual knowledge of the employee’s incompetence.”
The complaint goes on to say that the employee’s failure to include a warning with the medicine led to Scofield’s wrongful death.
Scofield is said to have suffered acute respiratory failure, convulsions, and respiratory collapse after injecting himself with the medication. Medical workers were unable to save him and his cause of death was respiratory distress secondary to hypoglycemic brain injury.
According to Drug.com, here are the potential side effects for Humulin 100:
While side effects from Humulin use are rare, allergic reactions or low blood sugar (sometimes called “an Humulin reaction”) may pose significant health risks. Your doctor should be notified if any of the following occur:
· Mild allergic reactions:
Swelling, itching or redness at the injection site (usually disappears within a few days or weeks)
· More serious allergic reactions:
Fast pulse, low blood pressure, perspiration, rash over the entire body, shortness of breath, shallow breathing, or wheezing
Other side effects are virtually eliminated when the correct dose of Humulin is matched with the proper diet and level of physical activity. Low blood sugar may develop in poorly controlled or unstable diabetes.
Potential side effects for Humulin R (500):
· Depression in the skin; enlargement of thickening of the skin; redness, swelling, or itching at the injection site.
· Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); changes in vision; chills; dizziness; drowsiness; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; headache; increased hunger; loss of consciousness; nervousness; seizures; sweating; tremor; weakness.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur.
When a person dies because of someone else’s negligent or wrongful behavior, the family members of that person may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This type of claim lets families demand compensation for the loss of a loved one.
The personal injury law firm of Lebowitz and Mzhen represents clients in Washington D.C., Maryland, and the surrounding areas in wrongful death cases as well as other types of personal injury lawsuits. We also have experience successfully representing individuals and their families who have been injured due to a pharmacy misfill or error.
There are a variety of pharmacy errors that occur every hour and every day, including:
· Giving the patient the wrong prescription drug.
· Giving the patient the right drug, but the wrong dosage.
· Giving another patient’s prescription.
· Compounding errors in which the pharmacist manufacturers behind the prescription counter a drug in the wrong strength or with incorrect components.
· Providing the wrong instructions on the label of the prescription drug.
For a free, no obligation consultation, contact Lebowitz and Mzhen today.
Family seeks $50M in wrongful death suit, Frederickpost.com, December 7, 2006
Humulin R, Drugs.com
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