Fruth Pharmacy lawsuit loses one plaintiff, defendant files motion to find out why

By Kyla Asbury | May 17, 2013


CHARLESTON – A lawsuit against Fruth Pharmacy for failing to warn about medications has lost one plaintiff after she decided to voluntarily dismiss herself from the case. The pharmacy now wants to know why.

During her deposition, a plaintiff known only as J.S. testified that the decision to withdraw as a plaintiff was made jointly by her husband, T.A.S., and herself, according to a court document filed Jan. 16.

Shortly thereafter, Fruth’s counsel asked J.S. why she didn’t want to be a plaintiff anymore, to which she responded that the decision was based upon communications between herself and her attorneys, but declined to provide additional response, according to the court document.

On May 8, the remaining plaintiff's counsel filed a Plaintiff’s Response in Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Compel Discovery.

On Sept. 13, 2011, T.A.S.’s counsel filed a complaint in which J.S. alleged loss of consortium resulting from the defendant’s negligent dispensation of medications, as well as from the defendant’s failure to warn of the known risks associated with the medications.

On Nov. 28, the plaintiffs moved to voluntarily dismiss J.S. and the Court ordered that J.S. be dismissed, according to the court document.

The plaintiffs claim Fruth is not entitled to discover the basis for J.S.’s withdrawal as a plaintiff in the case because J.S.’s reasoning is the product of privileged, attorney-client communications, as well as the mental impressions of her counsel.

The lawsuit was initially filed against Fruth after T.A.S. and J.S. alleged it failed to warn them about T.A.S.’s medications.

Fruth Pharmacy filled prescriptions for Trazadone, Fluoxetine and Alprazolam for T.A.S., according to a complaint filed Sept. 13 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

T.A.S. and his wife, J.S., claim each of the three medications present their own individual risks, but when taken together, the combination of drugs are known to present risks for harmful interactions.

Fruth knew or should have known of the risk the interactions presented by combinations of the medications, according to the suit.

T.A.S. and J.S. claimed when filling prescriptions, pharmacists are required to perform a drug utilization review in order to screen for possible interactions with other drugs the patient may be taking, among other things.

The defendant failed to alert T.A.S. of the known interactions associated with the combination of medications, according to the suit.

T.A.S. is seeking compensatory damages. He is being represented by John W. Barrett, P. Gregory Haddad and Robert P. Lorea of Bailey & Glasser LLP.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-1619

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