Berkeley Co. pharmacy settles allegations it filled prescription with dangerous drug

By John O'Brien | Jul 26, 2013

MARTINSBURG – A Martinsburg man who says he was given a dangerous, wrong prescription at a pharmacy has settled his lawsuit.

Howard N. Oals’ lawsuit against Reed’s Pharmacy was settled and dismissed on April 12, with the defendant agreeing also to pay all mediation costs. Terms of the settlement were confidential.

Oals filed his lawsuit against Reed’s and an unknown pharmacist on May 25, 2012, in Berkeley County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit alleged that in May 2010, Oals went to Reed’s to have a prescription for five milligrams of Leucovorin filled.

Instead, the Jane Doe pharmacist filled the prescription with 500 mg of Levaquin to be taken three times a day.

Oals says it was a dangerous mistake, given that he was supposed to be taking Leucovorin for a neurological condition, and Levaquin has been found to cause neurological damage in some cases.

“Mr. Oals suffered a delay in treatment for which he had originally been prescribed Leucovorin,” the complaint says.

“Mr. Oals further suffered injury by taking an excessively high dose of Levaquin, a medication that he neither needed nor had he been prescribed. This was especially true for Mr. Oals since he had been prescribed Leucovorin for a neurological condition. Levaquin had been reported several years earlier to cause neurological injury.”

On March 20, Oals and his attorney, JB Akers of Charleston, dismissed the Jane Doe pharmacist as a defendant. They also disclosed they had an expert witness who would testify that “no reasonable community pharmacist would have made such a dispensing error.

Reed’s Pharmacy was first represented by Michael Lorensen, who left the Martinsburg office of Bowles Rice to become a circuit judge in 2012. Curtis G. Power of Bowles Rice took over and was aided by Jared M. Adams.

Judge Gray Silver III presided over the case.

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