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Eugene doctor sued for excessive prescription of addictive drugs

Readers of our Eugene medical malpractice blog are aware that medical mistakes happen at even the best medical facilities. In many cases, these mistakes do not cause any patient injury and often go unreported. Unfortunately, it often takes a fatal accident and wrongful death claim to raise awareness among Oregon residents of the prevalence of medical malpractice.

Following the death of her daughter from drug toxicity, the mother of a Veneta woman has filed a lawsuit against her daughter’s doctor and his pain management clinic. The lawsuit alleges the Eugene doctor overprescribed her painkillers, thus resulting in her untimely death. Particularly, the lawsuit claims the doctor was negligent in his prescription practices and prescribed the woman “dangerous doses” of opiate drugs. The complaint further states that he failed to see the potential for dangerous interactions with other drugs his patient had been prescribed. It also alleges the doctor failed to recognize the woman became addicted to the opiates and put his financial interests ahead of his patient’s care.

The lawsuit filed by the patient’s mother states that she suffered from both mental and physical pain as a result of developing an addiction to the opiate drugs prescribed by her doctor. Her estate is seeking $500,000 in general damages, $450,000 for loss of income over her lifetime and $1 million in loss of companionship. The deceased was married with three sisters at the time of her passing.

The case shows the fatal consequences that often result from pharmaceutical and medical errors. The sudden loss of a loved one can be devastating, especially if such a death was caused by a preventable error. A medical malpractice claim is a way to recover damages for the victim’s estate and hold the negligent parties responsible.

Source: The Register-Guard, “Doctor, pain clinic sued by mother over daughter’s death,” Greg Bolt, April 29, 2013