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Corpus Christi, TX 78401
Phone: 361-880-7500
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Our Cases - Healthcare Safety
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Flinn v. Eckerd Corporation

Confidential Settlement

In August of 1996, a retired insurance adjuster and his wife went to Eckerd Pharmacy in Portland, Texas to purchase three medications that the man needed prior to his upcoming surgery, per his doctor's written instructions. The couple gave the written instructions to the clerk behind the pharmacy counter. The pharmacy clerk retrieved two of the medications from shelves in the over-the-counter medication area, and then retrieved a third item - which should have been magnesium citrate - from an area behind the pharmacy counter referred to by Eckerd as "Over-the-counter A-to-Z." However, instead of the specified medication, the clerk gave our client and his wife a bottle of sodium silicate, a highly toxic substance known as "liquid glass."

Having trusted the pharmacy to supply the correct medications, the couple went home, measured out 10 ounces of the liquid, and placed it in the refrigerator to chill, per the doctor's orders. The next day, the man drank the substance which he thought was magnesium citrate at 4:00 pm, just as his doctor had instructed. Within a few hours, the man's wife returned from work to find him on the bathroom floor, near death, covered in blood, and with severe chemical burns to his lungs.

During his five-and-one-half month hospitalization that followed, our client endured respiratory and acute kidney failure, ulceration of the esophagus, adult respiratory distress, a tracheotomy, and an enlarged heart, among many other complications. Fortunately, he survived, but now suffers from a range of debilitating health problems that include chronic kidney failure, numbness, blackouts, and worsening vision.

Eckerd Corporation settled with our client, but our battle to prevent this kind of tragic mistake from ever recurring is far from over. During litigation, we learned that Eckerd had documented more than 50,000 other medication errors between December, 1980 and December, 1996, and that other Eckerd customers had died or been seriously injured by similar medication errors. More tragically, Eckerd Corporation appeared to accept these errors as a necessary part of doing business.

In January, 1998, we joined with our client, his wife, and his children in publicly calling on Eckerd Corporation to adopt and enforce a zero-tolerance policy toward medication errors. We also challenged Eckerd to implement and enforce internal regulations to eliminate all medication errors from its system. Today, our firm continues to work with a variety of groups in an effort to increase consumer safety in this area.

This case is only one of many we have successfully handled. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in finding out more about our work.

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Perry & Haas does not offer any guarantee of case results.
Past success in litigation does not guarantee success in any new or future lawsuit.
Our web site describes some of the cases that the attorneys of Perry & Haas have worked on in the past.

Our description of those cases is summary in nature.

You should be aware that the results obtained in each of the cases we have worked on was dependent on the particular facts of each case. The results of other cases will differ based on the different facts involved.