For many years, addiction and the overdoses that so often accompanied them were viewed as a moral failure of the addict. In recent years, our understanding of addiction as a medical condition has evolved. As such, we are seeing an increasing number of instances in which medical professionals – including physicians and pharmacists – are being held accountable for negligence that played a causal factor in overdose.
In 2013, Walgreens paid $80 million to settle a claim with the Drug Enforcement Administration that it failed to control opiod pain reliever sales at certain locations. Now, the pharmacy is facing lawsuits for negligence in which customers died of overdoses after consuming large quantities of powerful drugs supplied by company pharmacists.
Last year, the husband of Lisa Robin Kelly, the actress best known for her stint on “That ’70s Show,” filed a negligence lawsuit against the rehabilitation center where she died of an overdose in 2013, alleging staffers were improperly trained to dole out those drugs.