The parents of a 24 year-old man from Virginia Beach, who committed suicide in 2012 after being prescribed large doses of Adderall, recently settled a $2 million lawsuit for $200,000. The wrongful death lawsuit involved former psychiatrist Waldo Ellison, who prescribed the 24 year-old man Adderall to treat his attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder when he was in college. His parents stated in the lawsuit that they questioned the diagnosis and the large doses of Adderall their son received from Ellison.
The man continued to take the drug even though he reported hallucinations, paranoia and violent actions, which required police coming to his residence on some occasions.
His prescription ended suddenly; he was not weaned off the drug. He committed suicide in November 2011.
Ellison was accused by the Virginia Board of Medicine of relying heavily on what his patients said, and failed to get enough strong data from other sources to make a proper diagnosis. The Board added that he gave prescriptions to patients who clearly were drug abusers.
Ellison’s medical license was suspended by the Board last year.
Our experience as medical malpractice attorneys in Virginia tells us that medical malpractice is more common than the public realizes. Each year, thousands of people across the US are injured or killed by the mistakes of doctors, surgeons and hospitals. In fact, 225,000 people die every year from medical malpractice. Many thousands also die from prescription mistakes, which seems to be what may have occurred in the above case.
Sadly, only one in eight medical malpractice victims ever files a claim for any kind of monetary compensation.
More people who have lost loved ones to questionable medical decisions should consider speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney to see if there is a possible case.