Doctors and Pharmacists Held Liable for Their Patient’s Criminal Conduct

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For the time being and until a new law officially takes effect on May 25, 2015, doctors and pharmacists may be held liable for damages stemming from illegal activity committed by those patients who abuse prescription drugs and claim that the doctors and pharmacists were negligent in prescribing the drug to which they became addicted in the first place.

The West Virginia Supreme court ruled that the plaintiff’s criminal conduct does not prevent an addict from suing their pharmacist and the doctor who wrote the prescription even though a law has been passed that would do just that. HB2002 prevents those convicted of felonies from recovering damages when their claim includes their criminal conduct. The law goes into effect May 25, 2015 but is not retroactive. Until then it’s open season on physicians and pharmacists.

The law was initially intended to help shut down so-called “pain clinics” which on the surface appear to offer solutions to mostly elderly people who suffer chronic pain, but in reality served as nothing more that fronts for the unfettered distribution of pain medication by overzealous doctors to patients whose medical conditions were questionable at best. Doctors agree that there has to be a better way to shut down the illegitimate pain clinics short of being able to sue the doctors.

In order to remove the incentive for people to file lawsuits, people have suggested that any funds that are awarded during this time window until the new law takes effect should be paid to the state of West Virginia and not to the plaintiffs and used to defray the cost of incarceration.

Even though people tend to disagree on this issue, one thing is clear and that is that illegal pain clinics, “pain mills” need to be attacked from every angle and eliminated as soon as possible.

For more information, please visit http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150515/GZ01/150519493#sthash.kH4wmUo8.dpuf, the source of this blog post.

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If you or someone you love has suffered injury, addiction or medical problems, as a result of improper prescription, addiction or overuse of pain pills, provided by a healthcare provider or pharmacist who was reckless or negligent in their prescriptions, please contact us today at Adams Legal Group, PLLC, for a free consultation on your potential legal claim, at (304) 381-2155, or visit our website at WV personal injury lawyers.