Find Out If You Have a Malpractice Claim

Our firm provides the highest level of legal expertise for pharmaceutical malpractice cases in New York. Our attorneys represent individuals and families of those injured or killed as a result of negligence committed in hospitals, by physicians, by pharmacists and other health care providers. We handle cases involving birth injuries, delay in diagnosis of cancer, doctor and hospital malpractice, surgical errors, surgical malpractice and strokes.

The New York pharmaceutical litigation lawyers at our firm handle a relatively small number of cases, which allows us to concentrate our efforts on each case. Many of our clients have sustained catastrophic injuries and will require support for the rest of their lives. We also handle cases on behalf of families whose loved ones have died wrongfully as a result of pharmaceutical malpractice.

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What Is Pharmaceutical Malpractice?

Pharmaceutical malpractice is a specific type of medical malpractice referring to mistakes involving prescriptions and drugs. These kinds of malpractice can be every bit as dangerous and costly as surgical errors or improper diagnoses. A pharmaceutical error can be more difficult to spot, however, since it often occurs on paper or when filling out a prescription. You cannot simply point to a surgeon who made a clear mistake and file a claim against that doctor or other staff members. Having an experienced malpractice lawyer by your side is vital when dealing with this type of case.

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What Are Prescription Errors?

Prescription errors occur either when a doctor orders a prescription or when a pharmacist fills that prescription for a customer. Minor mistakes might not be serious, such as a patient receiving 40 pills instead of 30, so long as dosage instructions are still clear and safe. A serious mistake, however, such as providing pills of too high a dose, or giving a patient the wrong prescription, can be deadly. Serious side effects can occur, and interactions between different drugs can result in critical illness or even death.

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Who Can Make These Mistakes?

Pharmaceutical and prescription mistakes can be made by anyone who is involved in the chain of ordering and filling prescriptions for a patient. In general, however, these errors are typically made by either a doctor or a pharmacist. We trust our doctors to properly diagnose issues and order the correct drugs for treatment. If a doctor orders a prescription for the wrong drug, or fails to notice a potentially dangerous interaction with other drugs a patient takes, then serious harm can occur.

It is important that doctors understand how drugs combine and work together, to avoid harmful interactions and side effects. Just as important, however, is that a doctor provides proper information in a prescription so that it can be filled out accurately. Should a doctor indicate too high a dosage or too few pills, then the consequences can be dire. These are small details that can have huge impacts on health and wellbeing, so doctors must always take special care in ordering a prescription for patients.

Pharmacists can also potentially be responsible for medical mistakes and pharmaceutical malpractice. In general, however, this is quite rare since pharmacists only follow the instructions provided by doctors who issue prescriptions. Care and attention must still be taken by pharmacists to fill prescriptions properly.

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Proving Pharmaceutical Malpractice

Establishing and proving pharmaceutical malpractice in a civil suit is very difficult, and it is something you should never try without an experienced lawyer to guide you. To win such a case you need to establish that negligence occurred and then prove that the negligence directly resulted in harm, making someone liable for the injury that occurred.

Proving negligence is quite difficult in any malpractice case, including for prescription errors. To show negligence, you must be able to demonstrate that a doctor acted in a way that goes against what another reasonable medical professional would have done. For example, you could have another doctor testify that the dosage or drug prescribed was potentially dangerous. This is costly and difficult, which is why you need a good attorney.

Once negligence is proven, then it needs to be connected to an injury to establish liability for that injury and damages from it. For example, if the wrong drug was prescribed, but you suffered an injury unrelated to it, then the negligence does not make the doctor liable for your injuries. On the other hand, if you were prescribed the wrong drug, which reacted with another pharmaceutical and caused you serious harm, then the negligence could make the doctor liable for what happened.

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Is a Malpractice Claim Really Worth It?

Yes it is. In one case our firm obtained an $8.5 million verdict for a 62 year-old man who suffered a stroke following a delay in surgery and discontinuance of his prescription of Heparin, a drug that prevents blood clotting. Following his stroke, which could have been avoided with timely surgery, the plaintiff was confined to a wheelchair and was left virtually unable to speak. With the subsequent settlement proceeds, the plaintiff bought a new home designed and equipped specifically to enable him to care for himself. This was one of the largest medical malpractice verdicts ever in Westchester County.

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Do Not Suffer in Silence, Call Us Today!

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of pharmaceutical malpractice, the attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, would like to meet with you. Please contact us or call our office at (212) 986-7353 to set up an appointment to discuss your case.

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Additional Information