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Massachusetts pharmacy’s can be sued for incomplete warnings

In 2002 a Massachusetts court decided a case in which a customer of CVS suffered permanent injuries after taking Trazodone. Trazodone is considered an antidepressant. The medication was dispensed by a pharmacist at CVS, and prescribed by the customer’s therapist.

A side effect of the medication is priapism (involuntary, persistent erection). Delayed treatment can result in permanent impotence. At the time, CVS had a computer system that gave customers written warnings of risks and side effects associated with their prescribed medication. The injured customer testified that he was given the short form warning listed some side effects, but not priapism.

After becoming permanently impotent, the customer sued CVS and its pharmacist for failing to warn him of the side effects. The customer’s argument was that CVS assumed a duty to warn him, by providing him a list of side effects. 

While a pharmacy generally has no duty to warn its customers of side effects, the court held that CVS assumed a duty by giving the customer a list of side effects which could reasonably be interpreted as complete and comprehensive. When a pharmacy gives a list of warnings, or promises in its advertising to give customers such information, ‘it may thereby undertake a duty to provide complete warnings and information.’

Have You Been Affected by a Pharmacy Mistake?

If you or a loved one has recently been harmed after being provided with the wrong medication, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you have sustained. At Kane Law, we handle pharmacy error cases. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation, call 1-866-764-6060.


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