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Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Rite Aid for Prescription Error

January 21st, 2010

The family of an Illinois man whose death was caused in part due to a prescription error in October 2007 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Rite Aid Corporation. John Sheridan—a middle-aged gentleman with malignant melanoma—was prescribed a powerful chemotherapy drug called Temodar after the cancer spread to his brain. The Temodar was intended to slow the growth of Mr. Sheridan’s cancer and extend his life. Instead, due the error, it hastened his death.

In writing the prescription, Mr. Sheridan’s doctor mistakenly instructed him to take fourteen pills by mouth. Mr. Sheridan then had the prescription filled at a Rite Aid store and took the medication as prescribed. Unbeknownst to Mr. Sheridan, and unnoticed by the Rite Aid pharmacist, the prescribed dosage was ten times the recommended amount and twice the known lethal dose of the drug. Additionally, Temodar should be taken just once every other week, but the doctor’s instructions called for Mr. Sheridan to take it every day. The overdose caused Mr. Sheridan’s cancer to grow much more rapidly than before, leading to his death a month later.

The Sheridan family’s lawsuit alleges the Rite Aid pharmacy’s failure to recognize the doctor’s error constituted negligence on their part. The family alleges that the licensed pharmacist who filled the prescription at Rite Aid should have either recognized the flawed instructions or at least performed due diligence in filling the prescription. The doctor involved has already settled with the family rather than entering into litigation.

An estimated 7,000 Americans die each year as the result of mistakes in writing and filling prescriptions. Most of these incidents are the result of human error. It is therefore extremely important for pharmacists to use the utmost care when dispensing prescription medication. The pharmacy is usually the last interaction between patient and medical professionals prior to medications being consumed. The pharmacist is therefore the last line of defense against prescription errors made by prescribing physicians.

The administration of pharmaceuticals is a significant responsibility which must be undertaken with the utmost of care for the patient. A pharmacist should examine each prescription prior to dispensing it to the patient and discuss instructions, interactions and other pertinent information with the patient. Even seemingly minor medical or pharmaceutical errors can pose grave consequences to patients and their loved ones. But tragically, accidents which could have easily prevented occur all too often.

The Lawyers of are experienced in the successful representation of victims of medical and pharmaceutical error. If you, or someone you know, have been injured because of taking the wrong medicine, or because of some other mistake, please contact us at for a free consultation. Our attorneys are available to assist in all aspects of your litigation.

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Gavin P. Lentz, Esq.
Bochetto & Lentz

Gavin Lentz (right) was selected as a "Super Lawyer" for 2006-2009 and 2010-2015 in New Jersey by Philadelphia Magazine. He has also been selected as a "Super Lawyer" by Philadelphia Magazine and the Legal Intelligencer in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 - 2015.

On September 16, 2002 Mr. Lentz was selected as one of the top 50 lawyers in Pennsylvania by the Legal Intelligencer.

He has made many television appearances, including on Fox News, The Today Show, Inside Edition, and The Phil Donahue Show.

Mr. Lentz is a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

As a former prosecutor, he knows how to aggressively go after large pharmacy chains to prove the facts necessary to protect your loved one's rights.

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