Louisiana Couple Awarded Six-Figure Judgment in Dangerous Drug Lawsuit

Louisiana Couple Awarded Six-Figure Judgment in Dangerous Drug LawsuitA recent lawsuit has led one Houma, Louisiana couple to be awarded more than $400,000 by a Terrebonne judge, who presided over the case that alleged an overdose of one medicine caused a man to become extremely sick.

According to the Lafourche Daily Comet, the lawsuit was filed in Terrebonne Courthouse in July 2009. The complaint alleged that Kirk Harvey displayed symptoms akin to a stroke after being given more than 20 times the allowed dosage of clonidine.

According to the National Library of Medicine, clonidine is used to treat high blood pressure, and works by decreasing a patient's heart rate and relaxing the body's blood vessels to enable easier blood flow.

Overdose of the drug has been known to be accompanied by difficulty breathing, slurred speech, weakness, and a slowing of the heart.

In 2009, Harvey was given a prescription from his doctor, which was filled by Lafayette-based company Intrathecal Compounding Specialists. According to the lawsuit, the company's employees overfilled the prescription of clonidine.

"The next day… he began to experience feelings of very light-headedness, dizziness and extreme fatigue," the lawsuit said.

Harvey's attorney told the news provider that his client's symptoms persisted through the next few days, which allegedly caused Harvey to show signs of a stroke. He sought treatment from Terrebone General Medical Center, where doctors allegedly traced the problem back to the clonidine.

"They thought he had a cerebral stroke, but all the tests came back negative," his lawyer said. "If he stood up, his blood pressure dropped to nothing."

During the trial, Judge David Arceneaux ruled that Intrathecal Compounding was negligent, and awarded Harvey the nearly half-million dollar sum, including $51,600 for past medical expenses. About $10,000 was awarded to Harvey's wife, Camilla Harvey, for suffering incurred due to her husband's medical problems.

The case discussed whether Harvey's current condition was a result of the overdose, and if those problems would remain for the rest of his life, the media outlet stated.

"There are no long-term studies on how clonidine affects somebody when so much is administered at one time," his attorney said. The lawsuit states that Harvey still experiences uncontrollable blood-pressure swings and drastic heart rate fluctuations.

"He has continued with problems and will have them for the rest of his life," Harvey's lawyer stated. "I think the court recognized that."