Recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion addressing whether pharmacies can be responsible to a third-party when the third-party suffers injuries as a result of the pharmacy’s negligence. The court discussed complex third-party liability issues that may affect Maryland car accident victims.
In this case, the pharmacy technician negligently gave a customer an incorrect prescription. The medication is known to cause sudden drops in blood pressure and subsequent cognitive impairments. These symptoms are particularly severe when the person taking the drug does not suffer from what the drug is designed to treat.
The driver was on the medication when he allegedly caused a fatal car accident. The customer’s son settled a lawsuit with the pharmacy, but the other victims sued the chain. The plaintiffs filed a lawsuit based on third-party liability and negligence per se. The court found that under the specific facts of the case, the pharmacy did not owe the third parties a duty of care and that negligence per se was not applicable.
Pharmacists are a vital party of the United States healthcare system, and they must uphold an appropriate standard of care for their customers. According to the National Institutes of Health, medication errors are one of the most common mistakes that occur in a patient’s treatment. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must make sure that they correctly fill prescriptions, recognize potential interactions, inform patients on proper administration, and possible allergic reactions. When pharmacists fail to abide by these standards, there can be fatal consequences.
Generally, pharmacists are held to the same standard of care as other medical providers. However, issues arise when a third party alleges that they suffered damages because of the pharmacy’s negligence towards the person that caused their injuries. In these cases, Maryland courts will typically look to whether the third-party harm was foreseeable. To determine foreseeability, the court will evaluate and weigh the likelihood of injury, foreseeability, and risk against the defendant’s burden. Moreover, courts will often look to what level of control the defendant had over the person who caused the harm.
Establishing negligence is more straightforward when the victim is a customer of the pharmacy. In those instances, the plaintiff must show that the pharmacist strayed from a generally accepted standard of care, and that deviation caused the victim’s injuries and damages.
Have You Suffered Injuries Because of a Maryland Pharmacy Error?
If you or someone you know has sustained injuries because of a pharmacy error or another incident of Maryland medical negligence, you should contact the Maryland injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers. The attorneys at our firm are skilled at handling the complex issues that these types of lawsuits often present. We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. Our clients have received compensation for their past medical bills, future medical treatments, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Third-party liability lawsuits have inherent challenges, and victims of medical malpractice can contact one of our experienced attorneys for immediate assistance. Contact our office at 800-654-1949 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney.