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Medication error leads to death, wrongful death lawsuit filed

When many people think of medication errors, they likely think of medication interactions or allergies. For some people, however, medical conditions are what dictates what they can safely take. In some cases, even common over-the-counter medications can prove deadly. Such was the case for one man who was arrested in Carter County.

According to a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court, the 46-year-old male inmate was arrested for violating his probation and parole. He complained of stomach pain the day after his arrest. He was then given Tylenol and an anti-nausea medication prior to being placed in a medical cell. He was found unresponsive the following morning.

In this case, the man had hepatitis, which meant that the Tylenol he was given could be toxic. The lawsuit claims that the staff nurse at the detention center deviated from the acceptable standard of care by giving him that drug.

In addition to that, it is alleged that the man wasn't checked on hourly while he was in the medical cell. State law requires hourly checks on inmates.

The lawsuit is seeking $15 million in compensatory and punitive damages. It claims the man died in inhumane conditions because of the indifference of the named defendants. The list of defendants being sued is in their official capacities and as individuals.

As you can see, lawsuits regarding medication errors can be complicated. Anyone who has been harmed by a medication error or who has lost a loved one because of a medication error has the right to seek compensation. Learning about the process in Kentucky can help you to learn how to proceed.

Source: Journal-Times, "Jail, county named in wrongful death lawsuit" Leeann Akers, Jan. 29, 2015

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