Lawsuit claims doctor mistakenly wrote prescription for toxic amount of Prednisone, resulting in patient’s overdose

A wrongful death lawsuit alleges that a patient died from an overdose after his physician mistakenly wrote him a prescription for a toxic amount of Prednisone.

Plaintiff Theresa L. Smith, acting as special administrator of the estate of John R. Brumley, Jr., filed a wrongful death lawsuit in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against the Walgreen Co., Physician Groups, L.C., doing business as BJC Medical Group of Missouri, BJC Health System, doing business as BJC Healthcare, and Dr. Barbara J. Green, citing negligence and carelessness.

According to the lawsuit, Brumley had developed severe back pain from multiple sclerosis and was referred to Green at JC Medical Group of Missouri on Sept. 17, 2019. On March 2, 2021, Green prescribed Brumley a course of Prednisone at 1,250 mg per day for five days. Brumley received the medication from his pharmacy at a Taylorville Walgreens. The lawsuit states that he responded well to the medication and his health improved.

On May 4, 2021, Brumley was seen by Green and they decided to continue his course of 1,250 mg of Prednisone for five days, but the lawsuit alleges Green erroneously wrote the prescription for 1,250 mg of Prednisone for an entire month. The prescription was renewable after 30 days.

Prednisone is a drug used to suppress immune system disorders, inflammation, breathing problems, and arthritis. In cases of overdose, the drug is known to cause systemic infection, multiorgan failure and death.

On May 4, 2021, Brumley received 750 pills of Prednisone at 50 mg each from his Walgreen’s pharmacy. At this point, pharmacists at Walgreen’s should have been aware that John had received an unsafe amount of Prednisone, but they did not alert Brumley or Green.

Brumley allegedly took the prescribed 1,250 mg of Prednisone until June 3 when his prescription automatically renewed and he again received 750 pills of Prednisone from his Walgreen’s pharmacy. Again, pharmacists at Walgreen’s did not alert Brumley or Green that he had received an amount of Prednisone that would be considered toxic, the suit states.

Brumley continued taking the large dosages of Prednisone daily until he became seriously ill for several weeks and was admitted to Memorial Hospital in Springfield on June 21, 2021. Over the next two weeks, his organs began to fail and he suffered until his death on July 2, 2021, the suit states. Brumley’s recorded cause of death was multi-organ failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome-circulatory shock and pneumonia. Records indicate that Brumley had developed severe infections are a result of overdosing on Prednisone.

The suit states that Green allegedly acknowledged that she wrote Brumley’s prescription in error and that Brumley’s hospitalization was due to a Prednisone overdose.

The plaintiff states that Brumley experienced severe pain and suffering, mental anguish and ultimately died as a result of the defendant’s negligence and carelessness. She adds that Brumley incurred medical expenses and lost wages as a result of the defendants’ negligence.

The plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $75,000, plus court costs and any other relief the court deems proper.

This article was first published in Madison Record.

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