When a pharmacy distributes the wrong medication, the patient can suffer severe health complications. A medication mix-up can cause physical injury and psychological harm, and a person may face steep medical bills to treat the complications of the mix-up. As a result, victims of a pharmacy error may seek to hold the pharmacy liable for their harm and recover compensation. However, when bringing a pharmacy malpractice lawsuit, plaintiffs should be aware that a pharmacy can defend itself through the concept of patient responsibility.
What Is Patient Responsibility?
In medication error lawsuits, the defendant can argue that a patient should have recognized the mix-up before taking the medication. For example, a pharmacy may argue that a patient should be able to tell that the color and shape of a medication differ from their previous doses. As a result, a patient’s failure to recognize a medication error may bar a damages award. Maryland is one of the few states that follows a contributory negligence theory of liability. Under contributory negligence, a plaintiff cannot recover any damages if they were partially at fault for their injury. Despite this high standard for recovery, some courts have refused to dismiss cases based on contributory negligence.
When Will Courts Allow Medication Error Lawsuits to Go Forward?