Article Updated: November 11, 2021
Settlements for Wrong Prescription
Wrong prescriptions are almost always the result of:
◊ Careless nurses
◊ Overworked staff
◊ Systemic flaws in safety
I have investigated and litigated wrong prescription cases. A treasure trove of internal documents usually reveal that the hospital or nursing home knows it messed up, and is involved in an attempted cover up to avoid liability.
Settlements for wrong prescription cases will vary on how deep that cover up runs, and the damages resulting from the medication error.
Below, I will walk you through the key issues in these cases and provide sample prescription error settlement amounts.
Clickable Table of Contents
Wrong Prescription Settlements
8 – About the Author
Settlements for Wrong Prescription in Nursing Home
Settlements for wrong prescriptions given in nursing homes are common, but that does not mean that these are easy cases to win. Nursing homes will rarely admit their guilt outright and will instead deny liability until they feel there is no way to avoid a judgement against them.
If you believe that you are entitled to a settlement for a wrong prescription due to the negligence of nursing home staff, the best thing you can do is move as fast as possible to collect evidence.
Very often due to understaffing, poor hiring and inadequate training, nursing home staff give the wrong medication to residents.
The consequences of actions like this can be irreversible for many victims. Wrong prescriptions can lead to long-term medical problems for some and in others it can lead to death.
Settlements for wrong prescriptions given in a nursing home can range in value depending on the specifics of the case.
The extent to which the mistake affects a person’s health, the length of time that the wrong prescription was given and the pain and suffering associated with the mistake all count towards the settlement value.
Nursing home patients have a high chance of being given the wrong prescription.
Studies have found that upwards of 42% of all elderly individuals will be given the wrong prescription.
Amongst those individuals there is a higher likelihood of being hospitalized and also more likely to die within 12 months of being given the wrong medication.
Some patients, nearly 20% are given the wrong medication more than one time, which again increases the chances that they will die because of the prescription mistake.
The elderly on average have a high chance in nursing homes of wrong prescriptions being given to them which in particular comes from poor staffing and poor training, neither of which show any signs of getting better in nursing homes.
Settlements for Wrong Prescription in Hospital
Hospitals are also forced to pay out settlements for wrong prescriptions. Hospitals are not immune from liability when they make medication errors, especially when the error costs someone their life or causes them to remain ill longer than they should have.
There is a high fluctuation in value for settlements for wrong prescriptions because medication errors can happen at one or many stages in the treatment of an individual.
A wrong medication can also come from many different people in the hospital.
The physician can prescribe the wrong medicine, the pharmacist can disperse the wrong prescription and the nurses can give the wrong prescription to the wrong person.
Medication given incorrectly can cause an overdose or pain, suffering and even possibly death.
Even if all other aspects of the medication process go well, if a patient is not monitored after medication is administered, there can still be a settlement for wrong prescription administration if it leads to adverse health impacts.
Settlements for Wrong Prescription in Pennsylvania
The averages for settlements for wrong prescriptions range from case to case based on the level and extent of negligence that is shown. Pennsylvania is an example of a state that has many settlements and verdicts for wrong prescriptions both in hospitals and in nursing homes.
A settlement was paid when an elderly female patient was given three times the therapeutic range of medication causing bleeding
$50,000 (Pennsylvania): Female patient’s medication was tripled after surgery for a broken hip. The medication mistake caused uncontrollable bleeding that led to the patient being transferred to the hospital where she developed respiratory problems and died.
Antibiotic medication was never given to a female nursing home resident which led to a settlement for wrong prescription paid after her death
$175,000 (Pennsylvania): An elderly female resident of a nursing home was not given antibiotics after suffering a serious infection. The medication was not given due to a communication mistake between the pharmacy, the physician and the nursing home which led to the patient never getting any care for her infection which led to her death.
Settlements for Wrong Prescription in California
California settlements for wrong prescription fluctuate similar to the averages seen in all other states. Some California cases and examples can be seen below:
A settlement for wrong prescription dispensing was brought after a patient died due to morphine poisoning
$600,000 (California): A patient who was unresponsive to her morphine tablets was given a large dose of liquid morphine which led to the patient’s death. Coroner’s office determined that the patient died as a result of morphine poisoning.
Pharmacist misread a prescription and labeled it incorrectly leading to an overdos
$375,000 (California): A psychiatrist prescribed a medication that a pharmacist misread and dispensed at a dosage and interval far higher than it was meant to be which led to the patient to overdose and die.
National Settlement Averages for Wrong Prescription Claims
Settlements for wrong prescriptions are higher when it is apparent that there was a clear mistake made on the part of the physicians who prescribe, the pharmacists who dispense and the nurses who administer medications.
A case in North Caroling settled for $7,500,000 when a patient suffered constant pain after nursing home staff withheld morphine from him while he was suffering from prostate cancer. Despite his physician prescribing a dosage of 150 milligrams every 3-4 hours, the nursing home cut the prescription dose and administered a placebo which caused the patient intense pain.
A case in New Work settled for $225,000 when a patient was given an injection without the percentage of the solution being checked first. The nursing home was found to be negligent for ignoring the strong smell of the acetic acid, the bottle it was delivered in and the labeling, all of which should have warned them that the solution was too strong and should not have been used as a straight injection.
National settlement averages for wrong prescriptions range anywhere from $150,000 on the lower end and as high as $300,000 on the higher end. Some settlement averages for wrong prescriptions are much lower and go down to $50,000 while others go as high as $1,000,000 and more depending on the level of neglect present, and whether death resulted.
Get Settlement Help for a Wrong Prescription Claim
If you were given the wrong prescription and it caused you any harm, loss, or injury, you are legally entitled to claim a recovery from the medical facility and staff that did this to you.
Having investigated these cases, I have access to:
◊ Medical experts on medication standards of care
◊ Scientific literature to support causation and foreseeability
◊ Fine tuned litigation discovery and cross-exam outlines to prove the practitioner’s wrongdoing
You deserve justice, and I ready to recover it for you. Reach out to me day or night for help.
Reza Davani, Esq.
State Bar No.: 1212110211
Federal Bar No.: 30168
Supporting Literature, Citations & Resources:
Barnett, K., McCowan, C., Evans, J. M. M., Gillespie, N. D., Davey, P. G., & Fahey, T. (2011). Prevalence and outcomes of use of potentially inappropriate medicines in older people: cohort study stratified by residence in nursing home or in the community. BMJ quality & safety, 20(3), 275-281.
Dedhiya, S. D., Hancock, E., Craig, B. A., Doebbeling, C. C., & Thomas III, J. (2010). Incident use and outcomes associated with potentially inappropriate medication use in older adults. The American journal of geriatric pharmacotherapy, 8(6), 562-570.
Ruggiero, C., Dell’Aquila, G., Gasperini, B., Onder, G., Lattanzio, F., Volpato, S., … & Cherubini, A. (2010). Potentially inappropriate drug prescriptions and risk of hospitalization among older, Italian, nursing home residents. Drugs & aging, 27(9), 747-758.
Shield, R. R., Wetle, T., Teno, J., Miller, S. C., & Welch, L. (2005). Physicians “missing in action”: Family perspectives on physician and staffing problems in end‐of‐life care in the nursing home. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 53(10), 1651-1657.
About the Author
This nursing home and medical malpractice article was written by Baltimore, Maryland nursing home attorney Reza Davani, Esquire. Mr. Davani received his Juris Doctor degree from a Tier 1 law school, the University of Maryland Francs King Carey School of Law. He received his first license to practice law from the State of Maryland’s Court of Appeals (MD State License No. 1212110211), and just four months later received a federal law license from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland (Federal License No. 30168).
Mr. Davani has been practicing law for over 10 years. He began practicing law by helping clients as a sanctioned student lawyer before receiving his law license, and second chaired his first jury trial in federal court before even graduating law school. He is a registered member of the Maryland Association for Justice (MAJ), the American Bar Association (ABA), the American Association for Justice (AAJ), and was formerly on the MAJ’s Legislative Leader’s Circle.
Mr. Davani has taken over 20 cases to trial in state and federal court, and favorably settled well over 100 cases for injured victims. He has personally helped his clients recover over $15,000,000 in personal injury, medical malpractice, and nursing home abuse settlements and verdicts in Maryland and other states. He is dedicated to fighting for justice, and welcomes the opportunity to help you.
Wrong Prescription Legal Help Near You in Baltimore, Maryland & Beyond
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