Woman sues pharmacist, two pharmacies for prescription mistake

By Kyla Asbury | Feb 23, 2010

CHARLESTON -- A Charleston woman is suing a pharmacist, Cross Lanes Family Pharmacy and Poca Valu-Rite Inc. after she received the wrong medication and was hospitalized.

On Feb. 13, 2008, Ethel M. Price had her prescription for Levothyroxine, a generic form of Synthroid, filled at the Cross Lanes Family Pharmacy by pharmacist Brac E. Brown, according to a complaint filed Feb. 4 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Price claims she has taken Synthroid and its generic equivalents for nearly 40 years and began to take the prescription as instructed from the prescription bottle.

On March 31, 2008, Price was admitted to St. Francis Hospital and complaining of palpitations and generalized weakness.

Price's physician, Dr. Mark W. Allen, stated in her medical records that he was concerned she had overdosed on her thyroid medication, likely out of confusion due to her old age, according to the suit.

Price claims she had a family friend pick up her thyroid medication she had filled Feb. 13 from her home and compare them with two pills she had leftover from a prior prescription.

The family friend took the pills to the pharmacy and talked to a pharmacist who determined the prescription from Feb. 13 was actually filled with 175 mg tablets instead of 75 mg tablets, according to the suit.

Brown contacted Price three weeks after the incident and apologized for making the error, according to the suit.

Price claims Brown had a duty of care to her and breached his duty when he failed to properly interpret her prescription and select the proper drug.

Price is seeking punitive damages. Scott S. Segal and Mark R. Staun of the Segal Law Firm are representing her.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-214

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