Injury Lawsuits Against Walgreens
Our law firm handles claims against Walgreens that either go to trial or settle out of court. If you have a potential claim against Walgreens, the page will help you better understand if you have a claim, how that claim might proceed, and how to deal with Walgreens.
There are several massive retail pharmacy chains in the United States and Walgreens is one of the largest. In Maryland alone there are 223 Walgreens stores, being just a small fraction of the literally thousands of others across the country. Walgreens, like most other retail pharmacies, utilizes a two-part business model: a retail store that sells a variety of convenience items and over-the-counter health products and a pharmacy that fills prescriptions.
When it comes to tort lawsuits against Walgreens, they tend to directly reflect this type of business model and predominantly come in two kinds each relating to a different part of the business. On the retail side, there are premises liability lawsuits and on the pharmacy side, there are medical malpractice lawsuits for medication errors.Walgreens Premises Liability Lawsuits
Most premises liability lawsuits against Walgreens are slip and fall cases. Slip and falls are the most common type of premises liability lawsuit. When someone is injured by some sort of dangerous or hazardous condition, such as a wet floor, and brings a lawsuit against the property owner, this is what is referred to as a premises liability lawsuit. Retail stores like Target, Walmart, Rite Aid, or CVS by customers are inundated with premises liability cases. Some are meritorious but many are also utter nonsense. Ultimately, the key is whether the company did something wrong to cause the injury. These stores are not responsible just because someone falls on their premises.
While Walgreens is sometimes prone to doing very dumb things, Walgreens has historically been a pretty good company. The company gets sued a lot because of its sheer size. Great hospitals make a lot of mistakes. You can be sure the employees and pharmacists at Walgreens do, too.
The retail component of the Walgreens business is significant and they receive a very high volume of customers conducting a high number of transactions daily. Walgreens may not have any features or sell any merchandise that is particularly hazardous or potentially deadly like some other retailers such as Home Depot, however, large volumes of incoming and outgoing customer traffic alone really increases the risks for injuries.Walgreens Medication Error Lawsuits
Walgreens pharmacies literally fill millions of prescriptions each year and anytime a medication prescription is filled, that entity filling it is acting as a healthcare provider. This means they can be sued for medical malpractice. Whenever a lawsuit is being brought against a pharmacy they almost always involve some type of medication error in filling the prescription on part of the pharmacy. As a result, malpractice claims against pharmacies really only fall into two categories, dispensing errors and harmful drug interactions.
Dispensing errors occur a lot more often than you probably think by high-volume pharmacies like Walgreens. The good news is that in most cases, really around 9 out of 10 times, these errors cause little harm. Dispensing errors can include mistakes such as dispensing the wrong medication or dispensing the wrong dose.
In most cases, receiving the wrong medication or wrong dose will not hurt or kill you, but sometimes can cause actual harm or adverse side effects. Slight harm or adverse effects do not last long and do not cause permanent injury. You may experience a few days or weeks of physical distress and in some cases, a short hospital stay but long-term consequences are uncommon but they do occur. Because of this, it is not uncommon for these cases to have a lower value than others. Our law firm is only taking cases where the error results in serious injury or death.Walgreens Settlements and Verdicts
Summarized below are lawsuits against Walgreens that resulted in jury verdicts or settlements. Both premises liability and medical malpractice claims are included. This is just a small sample of cases against Walgreens and provided to you for informational purposes only.
For all of the cases brought against Walgreens, few go to trial. Why? Companies like Walgreens do not enjoy the publicity that comes with a verdict against them. The company spends millions of dollars to cultivate the good image that it has. The company fully understands that much of that good reputation can be undone with the publicity of a foolish mistake of a single employee. So Walgreens is often going to make you file suit but settle the case long before you get to the courthouse steps.
- Sheehan v. Walgreens (California 2016) $29,000: A 2-year-old boy with autism is sick and goes to the hospital where he is prescribed an oral steroid, dexamethasone, to treat his symptoms. The medication and dosage prescribed are inappropriate for his age and he becomes ill. He recovers, however, his parents bring this lawsuit on his behalf alleging the hospital was negligent in prescribing a medication and dose inappropriate for his age and that Walgreens was negligent for not catching this mistake and filling the prescription. The case goes to trial where the jury finds them both negligent and rewards the plaintiff $29,000. The hospital pays $20,000 and Walgreens pays the remaining $9,000.
- B.M. v. Walgreens (California 2015) $3,500: A prescription is filled for an 11-year-old boy, however, Walgreens filled the prescription with both the wrong amount and the wrong medication. As a result, the boy ingested six doses of blood pressure medication he was not prescribed. The case did not go to trial but settled out-of-court for $3,500. If you have a case like this, you are going to have a hard time finding a lawyer. Why? Because while something awful could have happened, there is no real harm. Our law firm would not take this case. Our focus is on people who have suffered an injury or have been killed by a medication error.
- Bachmann v. Walgreens (New York 2015) $22,500: A 14-year-old girl is walking in the parking lot of a Walgreens pharmacy and trips and falls. As a result, she suffers a right ankle sprain that results in soft tissue injuries within her ankle. She brings a premises liability claim against Walgreens, alleging she was injured due to Walgreens negligent maintenance of the parking lot. The parties resolved the dispute with a negotiated settlement for $22,500.
- Hinchy v. Walgreens (Indiana 2014) $1.8 million: This is the rare non-injury case that we write about. This is a HIPAA violation case. A pharmacist discloses the plaintiff's prescription records to a guy she was dating. Why? Because the pharmacist is dating the same guy! Crazy, right? So the guy texts the plaintiff to accuse her of not renewing her birth control pills and getting pregnant with his child (and, at some point, having herpes). The Plaintiff sues Walgreens and the guy in the middle of the whole thing for violating her HIPAA rights. The jury finds the guy 20% responsible and Walgreen vicariously liable for 80% ($1.44 million) of the harm. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the verdict. (Our law firm does not take HIPAA violation case.)
- Rossab v. Walgreens (California 2013) $12.5 million: The plaintiff is sitting on a park bench in front of a Walgreens store when a driver in the parking lot makes a parking error while attempting to park their car and drives over the curb and hits him. As a result, the plaintiff suffers traumatic injuries including an anoxic brain injury that leaves him in a persistent semi-vegetative state. This lawsuit is brought on his behalf against Walgreens alleging they were negligent in maintaining their premises in a dangerous and defective condition by installing the bench in front of moving vehicles without providing any reasonable means of protection. Specifically, Walgreens failed to follow its own policy of installing pipe bollards between a bench and parking spot. Walgreens denied any liability but agreed to settle the plaintiff's premises liability claims for $12.5 million.
- Gober v. Walgreens (Louisiana 2010) $35,000: A young girl who was born with pulmonary atresia undergoes a surgical valve repair without any complication. Following the successful completion of the surgery, she is prescribed Lasix, among other drugs. Her parents have the prescription filled at Walgreens where the wrong label is printed, prescribing her 10 times the daily amount her physician had prescribed. Her parents administer her with the dose provided on the label for the following 12 days and she becomes very sick until her physician discovers she is suffering from toxic levels of Lasix at a follow-up visit. Her parents bring this lawsuit on her behalf alleging that Walgreens was negligent in failing to review her prescription, ordering the wrong dose, and filling it with the wrong dose. The case went to trial where the jury found that Walgreens was negligent and liable for her injuries and awarded a verdict of $35,000.
- King v. Walgreens (New Jersey 2008) $1,075,000 million: A 36-year-old man who is a car dealer slips and falls on ice outside of a Walgreens store. As a result of the fall, he sustained a serious ankle fracture and suffers connective tissue damage in his hip. He had to undergo surgery, now suffers chronic pain, and is unable to go back to work. The ice in the parking lot was due to snow on the store's roof draining down into the parking lot and then freezing over. The store had actually received notice of this problem in writing but failed to fix it. He brought this lawsuit against Walgreens alleging they negligently maintained the premises which ultimately caused his injuries. Walgreens agreed to settle his claim for $1,075,000 million.
- Warren v. Walgreens (Arizona 2007) $6 million: A Walgreens pharmacist fills a prescription for the deceased plaintiff for tramadol. The following day, the pharmacist dispenses another prescription to him for methadone and despite a computer warning of drug interactions; the pharmacist changes the dose from 5 mg to 10 mg. The pharmacist obtained neither authorization from the prescribing physician or warned Eric of combined drug interactions. The deceased plaintiff quickly died as a result of combined drug toxicity. His spouse brought this wrongful death and survival action against Walgreens alleging that her husband died as a result of the Walgreens pharmacist failing to warn him of drug interactions and that the pharmacist was negligent in dispensing the prescription and in an excessive amount. The case went to trial where the jury found for the plaintiff and awarded $2 million to each of their two children and $1 million each to the decedents surviving parents, in the total sum of $6 million.
- Carter v. Walgreens (Alabama 2003) $5,000: A doctor prescribes a young boy medication his mother fills at a Walgreens pharmacy. The Walgreens' pharmacist fills the prescription with an adult rather than children's dose. As a result, the young boy becomes sick but does recover. This claim was brought on his behalf alleging that Walgreens was negligent in failing to fill the prescription with the appropriate dose prescribed by his doctor. This case settled for $5,000. Again, this is not a case our law firm would handle. Our focus is exclusively on victims who suffer serious harm. (Yes, we include this commentary in part to dissuade people from calling us who do not have a significant claim.)
If you think you have a potential lawsuit against Walgreens for medical malpractice, premises liability, or anything else you are going to need an experienced and respected law firm. Large corporations like Walgreens are worth billions and pay top dollar to defend claims such as these. Miller & Zois has expertise in medical malpractice and premises liability cases. Contact us at 800-553-8082 or online for a free consultation so we can help.