Lawsuit Says Walgreens Dispensed Wrong Drug, Caused Death

Lawsuit Says Walgreens Dispensed Wrong Drug, Caused DeathThe pharmacy chain Walgreens has been named as a defendant in the lawsuit filed by the family of 77-year-old Floridian Evelyn Smith, who allegedly died after being dispensed the wrong drug by the company.

The dangerous drugs lawsuit states that Smith went to an Auburndale location of Walgreens to fill a prescription for potassium in December of 2009, according to the Lakeland Ledger. Instead of potassium, however, she was given Kadian, a slow-release morphine medication that she then took 20 milligrams of twice a day, the complaint states. She soon began to get very sick and died 16 days after filling her prescription, the dangerous drugs lawsuit says.

"In a person for whom the medication wasn't intended, the consequences can be dire … Twenty milligrams twice a day is not a significant dosage, but it has a cumulative affect that builds up in the system, and that can be a problem," Paul Doering, professor emeritus at the University of Florida's College of Pharmacy, said of Kadian.

The family seeks more than $15,000 in damages from Walgreens. 

According to the company website, the first Walgreens opened in 1901 in Chicago as a neighborhood drug store.