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Walgreens faces wrongful death lawsuit

The loss of a loved one often leaves family members and friends with considerable grief. The sense of loss is often compounded when negligence seems to have contributed to the death. One mother experienced such a loss, and she has decided to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Walgreens for having a hand in the death of her son.

According to the lawsuit, the retailer continued to fill her son's Vicodin prescription even after his physician called the pharmacy in 2010 to stop it from filling the man's prescription because he was abusing the drug. Documentation of the call and abuse allegations were placed in a Walgreen's computer file -- but the prescriptions were still filled until July of 2012. The man died from an overdose in August of 2012.

Walgreens outlets in Florida have been under scrutiny since April of 2012 for providing excessive supplies of painkillers -- Vicodin and OxyContin -- to patients. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, one store manager warned corporate supervisors about the excessive drug sales but was ignored. The DEA also accused Walgreens executives of creating bonus programs to encourage pharmacists to make sales despite warnings of customer abuse.

The DEA issued a ban on the drug chain's distribution center in September of 2012. This cut off supplies to many East Coast and Florida stores. Unfortunately, the ban also kept patients with valid prescriptions from obtaining the drug. The current lawsuit is the only one filed against Walgreens thus far.

Whether from an accident, a case of medical malpractice or an incident caused by negligence, the untimely death of a loved one can lead family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Besides providing a measure of justice, the legal claim can lead to compensation for damages incurred by families because of their loss.

Source:, "Walgreens Sued for Negligence in Vicodin Overdose Death," Beth Balen, March 25, 2014

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