Walker Franklin went to his pharmacy to pick up his prescription medications on March 11, 2011. Unbeknownst to Mr. Franklin, he received the wrong prescription. Instead of taking Prednisone, his prescribed steroid, he wound up taking Altace, a powerful blood pressure medication. The consequence – Walker Franklin died on March 25, 2011.

Obviously, this was an awful, tragic incident and one that was avoidable, if only the pharmacy exercised due diligence and did not give Mr. Franklin the wrong medication.

A pharmacy error wrongful death claim was filed by the Franklin estate. Recently, a U.S. District Court in Lynchburg, Virginia (VA) decided in favor on the Franklin estate on an important summary judgment motion. The Court determined that the applicable standard of care and breach of that standard are established in plaintiff’s favor and the parties need only focus on causation and damages as the case proceeds.

This is a big win for the Franklin estate. In pharmacy error medical malpractice/wrongful death cases, a major hurdle plaintiff’s have to overcome is establishing that the defendant breached the standard of care. The decision in this case means that this hurdle is already cleared and the plaintiff only has to focus on the fact that Mr. Franklin’s untimely death was caused by the prescription medication error and the damages that resulted from the error.   

For more information about pharmacy error/prescription medication mistakes, take a look at these articles and case results that our firm obtained in these types of cases: