A Bay Area woman recently sued Walgreens for giving her the wrong prescription medication. Shirley Thompson alleged that she went to a Walgreens drug store in December of 2008 to have a prescription filled.
Her prescription was for the hypertension medication Clonidine, but the pharmacist allegedly gave her Clonazepam (Klonopin), a narcotic usually prescribed for panic attacks and seizures.
Although it is unclear whether Thompson’s bottle was labeled “Clonidine” or “Clonazepam,” it was undisputed that she was mistakenly given Clonazepam.
On New Year’s Eve 2008, Thompson was severely injured in a car accident after allegedly “blacking out” due to Clonazepam. She also alleged that she became subsequently addicted to Clonazepam and suffered mental and physical distress while she weaned herself off of it.
Thompson sued Walgreens on December 30, 2010, which was outside of the statute of limitations period for personal injury cases involving professional healthcare provider negligence (including pharmacies). A trial court, therefore, dismissed her case.
The appeals court noted that although Thompson alleges that the effects of the medication caused her to be “out of it” or “mentally ill,” she failed to meet the criteria for insanity and that incompetency arising after the accrual of a cause of action did not halt the statute of limitations.
Case: Thompson v. Walgreen Co., Court of Appeal, First District, Division 1, CA. 2014 WL 1691894