Pharmacists have a great deal of responsibility within the medical community. Proper prescribing information can be the difference between a healthy patient and severe patient injury and overdose.
Pharmacy malpractice and medication errors may be more common than many Americans think. Cases of prescription malpractice and medication errors can be diverse and include the following:
Hospitals and pain clinics have been scrutinized in the last few years for overprescribing powerful opioid painkillers to patients and then failing to follow up with patients. The practice of prescribing drugs for profit has reached an epidemic, and the lives of thousands of Americans have been lost to severe addiction and overdoses.
With tens of thousands of patients overdosing on prescription medication and illicit substances like Fentanyl, doctors have been sued in wrongful death cases in which they prescribed dangerous painkillers and failed to follow up on the patient.
Joe Lyon is an experienced medication error attorney and prescription malpractice lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide following opioid overdose injury and wrongful death.
Managing pain is a priority for so many Americans. Every morning people wake up in pain and wonder how they can get through the day. Patients rely heavily on medical professionals to diagnose and treat a wide variety of painful conditions and illnesses. But doctors sometimes fail in their duties. As a result, painkillers and opioids are over-prescribed and under-prescribed, and patients suffer the consequences.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently warned that doctors are misusing opioid pain medication guidelines, worsening conditions in the opioid addiction and overdose crisis in the U.S. New studies suggest doctors and pain management physicians have misapplied 2016 guidelines that clamped down on the use of opioids.
A review in the New England Journal of Medicine noted that many physician responses to the opioid overdose crisis went too far. Pain management professionals must properly treat patients, and if they fail to do so, they may be held liable for overdose injuries and deaths related to painkiller prescription malpractice.
A wave of opioid abuse lawsuits targeted drug makers, doctors and drug distributors in recent years. Pain clinics are sometimes reticent to prescribe painkiller and opioids to patients in need. But completely cutting off a supply of painkillers to the consumer in need is misapplying the government’s guidance, according to the CDC.
Doctors are advised to begin slowly and prescribe a low effective dose and avoid increasing it too quickly. This is basic pain treatment procedure. But health agencies and Cincinnati opioid prescription malpractice attorneys have heard reports of doctors and clinics suddenly tapering or discontinuing painkillers, raising the risks of severe withdrawal symptoms, pain, psychological distress, and death.
Medical professionals and pharmacists have the duty of weighing the benefits and risks of opioid painkillers for each individual patient. Every case is unique and physicians should provide a standard of care without improperly prescribing painkillers.
There are more than 50 million chronic pain patients in the U.S. Many pain patients have been denied treatment because practices have closed or doctors have been disciplined. This leaves a large number of American pain patients in a bind.
An Ohio doctor, William Husel, working in the Columbus Mount Carmel Health System from 2015 to 2018, has been charged with 25 deaths, each related to a prescribed opioid overdose. The doctor stands accused of ordering fatal doses of fentanyl and other opioids to patients.
Husel faces multiple counts of murder after a six-month investigation of the hospital overdose deaths. The Ohio patient fentanyl overdose deaths highlights serious issues with detecting widespread hospital negligence and medical malpractice within a hospital. The safety of patients was compromised by a failure involving around 30 employees, many of which could be later found negligent.
The fentanyl malpractice case goes beyond typical negligence standards and is one of the most serious healthcare crimes in recent history. Husel, the primary defendant in the case, was first suspended last year and then eventually fired before charges were brought against him.
Most of the patients involved in the Mount Carmel fentanyl overdose deaths were terminally ill, though their health still did not warrant such an excessive and deadly dose of opioids. Husel’s attorney has stated that the doctor did not intend for any patients to die.
Other charges may be filed against those liable in the death of overdose victims. Plaintiff lawyers and medical experts have noted that the opioid doses were so excessive that they “could not support any legitimate medical purpose.
The CDC is now recommending several safeguards with opioid painkiller use, including:
Much has been reported about the for-profit business model that pharmaceutical companies have created for doctors, where medical professionals get kickbacks for selling great quantities of specific drugs.
Painkillers and anti-anxiety medications have been some of the “best sellers,” and doctors have made millions–as the drug companies have made billions–while patients get addicted to potent drugs like the following:
According to the CDC, around 2 million Americans either abused or were dependent on prescription opioid painkillers by 2014. Reports from state health departments, county coroners and medical examiners suggest that the fentanyl overdose rate has continued to worsen in recent years.
Current litigation seeks to hold doctors, pain clinics and drug companies accountable for producing, marketing and distributing opioid painkillers without proper warnings.
Health care providers, including doctors at pain clinics, are considered accountable when patients experienced Fantanyl overdoses or other opioid injury. Doctors may face civil lawsuits for overprescribing drugs like fentanyl, hydrocodone, and oxycodone.
Deaths involving prescription opioids continue to rise, and many deaths involve numerous dangerous drugs, taken in conjunction with one another. Complications can include:
• Chest pain
• Difficulty breathing
• Poor skin reactions
• Abdominal pain
• Dizziness, drowsiness, or lightheadedness
• Nausea or vomiting
• Irregular heartbeat
The current situation with thousands of overdose and deaths each year demands legal action. Consumer safety advocates, attorneys and even congress seek to hold doctors and the drug industry accountable.
Doctors who prescribe dangerous painkillers for profit, and those who fail to follow up with patients, may be held liable for opioid overdose deaths and addiction.
Ohio Hospitals, like Mount Carmel West in Columbus,, have been battling allegations that their doctors and pharmacists have overprescribed dangerous painkillers and has led to the death of dozens of patients.
Furthermore, drug companies can be held responsible in product liability lawsuits that claim the pharmaceutical companies engage in unethical and illegal, negligent business practices. Pharmacy malpractice can result in the following injuries:
Medication error cases are thought to be synonymous with pharmacist malpractice. Prescription errors are relatively common as human error can play huge roles. A prescription may be written down or entered into a computer system incorrectly. Pharmacy technicians may be incompetent, or simply fatigued and capable of making mistakes.
These mistakes can result in an improper medication or improper dosage, and ultimately serious injury and loss of life. Medication errors are not only an issue with pharmacist malpractice or doctors over-prescribing drugs.
Medication Error cases can begin high in the chain of drug distribution. Many pharmaceutical recalls have indicated drug mislabeling problems, and some of the mislabeled drugs reach consumers and patients before they can be recalled from the shelves.
In a recent case of drug mislabeling, 200,000 bottles of Clopidogrel distributed by Walmart were recalled because the medication contained Simvastatin, a different chemical agent altogether. Missed doses of Clopidogrel, a drug meant to reduce the risk of heart attacks, can be life threatening.
Adverse drug events affect millions of patients each year in the United States, leading to medication error lawsuits and pharmacy malpractice settlements. Pharmacists have a duty to serve patients to the best of their ability, and when they fail to perform their positions properly, they may be sued for damages.
Patients and loved ones are always encouraged to double check their prescription against the bottle of medications, as well as the dosage information.
If you suspect a loved one has suffered due to a medication error or prescription malpractice, check the FDA Web site for recent recalls, consult the prescribing doctor regarding drug risks, and check medical records for unusual toxic levels of medications in the blood.
ABOUT THE LYON FIRM
Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.
The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.
NO COST UNLESS WE WIN
The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.
When management or individuals fail to provide a sufficient level of care, victims may seek legal recourse and file suit against the negligent parties. Medical malpractice lawsuits improve the quality of healthcare by holding physicians and hospitals responsible when they fall below a professional standard of care.
Hospitals, medical staff, nurses and doctors are responsible for providing proper patient care. When management or individuals fail to provide a sufficient level of care, victims may seek legal recourse and file suit against the negligent parties.
Without medical malpractice laws, medical mistakes would go without consequence, patients would be uncompensated for preventable injuries, and medical providers would have less incentive to improve the medical system to prevent future injuries.
Despite the reports discussed above, frivolous claims brought by medical malpractice attorneys and runaway juries have been blamed as causing a medical crisis. There is no medical malpractice crisis, it is simply propaganda created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and large insurance companies to pollute the American jury pool and change the law in a manner that is favorable to them and adverse to the average American. And sadly, it has worked.
Currently, 90 percent of juries side with the physician over the patient at trial. As a result, insurance companies are bolder than ever and refuse at times to settle even the most meritorious of cases knowing that the chances of the patient finding a fair and impartial jury is extremely low, especially in more conservative parties of the country such as Hamilton County, Ohio.
The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 required that conditions be identified that (a) are costly and occur at high rates, (b) are assigned as cases to the Diagnosis-Related Group, and (c) could have ultimately been prevented with appropriate care. These hospital-acquired conditions occur as negligence on the part of hospital staff and often result in a multitude of medical malpractice lawsuits.
Conditions that meet the three requirements for identification:
Many hospitals and physicians are taking proactive approaches to resolve viable medical malpractice claims by approaching patients who do not have legal counsel. The “family meeting” presentation will include deterring patients from seeking legal counsel. This is a very concerning development in the course of medical liability and risk management.
We strongly advise patients not to engage in “family meeting” settlement negotiations without an experienced Cincinnati medical malpractice lawyer present. Hospitals and physicians have lawyers who are specialized in medical malpractice claims advising them on how to approach the case, and it is only fair that the patient is afforded the same benefit of qualified counsel.
The “family meeting” practice of settling hospital negligence cases without an attorney does not benefit the patient in most cases, but almost always benefits the negligent hospital.
Do not be deterred by a hospital representative implying that the case will be compromised if you seek counsel. While attorney fees will need to be paid, those costs should not be a deterrent. The Lyon Firm adopts a lower contingency fee structure and offers hourly rates for cases that can be resolved without litigation.
If the parties wish to resolve the matter, having qualified counsel on both sides is beneficial to the process. The goal should be a settlement where both parties are satisfied, not a case where the hospital pays substantially less than the fair value of the claim.
There are numerous issues that need to be considered before settling a medical malpractice case, and you should know what the fair value of the claim is before accepting a settlement.
The hospital knows the fair value having been involved in other cases. You as the patient should work with counsel who has successfully worked on other cases and can advise on the appropriate risk of future litigation and settlement value.
If a hospital is approaching you or a family member about a settlement without a Cincinnati Medical Malpractice lawyer, please call (800) 513-2403 for a free consultation.
Our Firm will help you find the answers. The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered.
Experience: Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Medical Malpractice Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.
Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.
Results: Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury, automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence cases. The cases have involved successfully litigating against some of the largest companies in the world
A recently published study titled, A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care, estimated that 210,000 hospital patients die each year from medical mistakes that could have been prevented.
This places medical malpractice as the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. Further, the Office of The Inspector General estimated 180,000 deaths per year are due to medical mistakes. And a Study from Journal of Patient Safety estimated that the number of preventable deaths is between 210,000 and 440,000.
Incredibly, the Wrong Site Surgery Project Study found that national incidence of wrong site surgeries, which includes wrong patient, wrong procedure, wrong site and wrong side surgeries, may be as high as 40 per week.
The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law.
(Cincinnati, Ohio): Confidential settlement for a family due to a wrongful death. An emergency room physician failed to recognize the common symptoms associated with bowel obstruction and prescribed a contraindicated medicine of GoLytley. The patient died at home the day of discharge after taking the medication. The case against the emergency room physician was resolved by settlement following extensive discovery. The settlement was paid to the spouse and surviving adult children for the loss of their mother. While no amount of money could bring back their mother, the case provided answers and held the hospital accountable.
(Cincinnati, Ohio): Joe Lyon was second chair in a case involving the failure of a physician to promptly communicate a positive breast cancer result to a patient. As a result of the delay, the cancer progressed from in situ carcinoma to stage 3B with lymph node involvement. The treatment required mastectomy and radiation/ chemotherapy rather than a simple excision. The case settled after extensive discovery. The defense argued: “the patient should have called the physician.” The settlement provided recovery for suffering through a misdiagnosis and the loss of a spouse and a mother. While the settlement cannot bring this wonderful woman back, it helped her family move forward with life’s challenges and encouraged future accountability.