— 84-year old woman’s condition worsens as CVS delays proceedings; Firm files to amend and remand case to LA Superior Court —
LOS ANGELES, CA – Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt, one of Southern California’s premier full-service law firms, filed an action to send Edna Porter v. CVS Pharmacy Inc. back to Los Angeles Superior Court after CVS Pharmacy had the case removed to federal court while refusing to provide the name of the pharmacist who dispensed the wrong medication to an 84-year old woman, leaving her brain damaged.
After taking a high-alert blood thinner, which CVS Pharmacy improperly dispensed to her, Edna Porter suffered severe brain injury and is now in desperate need of immediate and appropriate treatment, which she cannot afford. CVS Pharmacy was able to prevent a hearing for a preferential trial setting in state court by removing the case to federal court. The removal, denied Ms. Porter the opportunity to expedite obtaining an early trial date in state court.
“CVS Pharmacy continues to shirk responsibility by delaying these proceedings, while Mrs. Porter’s condition deteriorates,” says Partner Byron Purcell. “As a direct result of CVS Pharmacy and its pharmacist’s egregious disregard of protocols, practices and safeguards, Mrs. Porter suffered irreparable damage to her cognitive function and can no longer do the daily activities she enjoys.”
Background on Edna Porter
Mrs. Porter had been using CVS Pharmacy for her prescription needs since 2014. She suffered from high blood pressure and had been taking Cardura regularly; however, after a visit to her primary care physician on March 10, 2016, her dosage was changed. Mrs. Porter took the hand-written prescription to the CVS Pharmacy location in Inglewood, CA where, instead of receiving Cardura, Mrs. Porter was received Coumadin, a high-alert blood thinner.
The pharmacist and pharmacy staff failed to follow protocols and safeguards in place to prevent the improper dispensing of medications, such as reviewing Mrs. Porter’s drug therapy and patient medication history, verifying the prescription and providing consultation to Mrs. Porter. Mrs. Porter, under the assumption her medication was correct, followed the prescribed dosage for two weeks before she showed signs of confusion and an altered mental state. Subsequent tests revealed that Mrs. Porter suffered a severe brain hemorrhage caused by Coumadin toxicity for which she was hospitalized for four weeks before discharged to a skilled nursing facility, where she remains today.
Prior to Mrs. Porter’s brain injury, she performed the necessary duties as a spouse, companion, caregiver, spiritual leader and comforter. Mr. and Mrs. Porter were married for over 60 years and lived together independently prior to this incident. Mrs. Porter lost her ability to provide for her household, family and husband, who was left home alone while his wife was hospitalized. Eventually, Mr. Porter was also admitted to a skilled nursing facility, and was placed at the same facility where his wife was recovering from her brain injury. However, due to that injury, Mrs. Porter did not recognize nor acknowledge her husband. Mr. Porter was distraught, had sunk into a depression and ultimately passed away a few months ago. Mrs. Porter is still at that skilled nursing facility and requires 24/7 care and medical treatment, which comes at a substantial cost. Without such care and treatment, her condition will continue to deteriorate.
Background on CVS Pharmacy Lawsuit
The original complaint against CVS Pharmacy was filed on March 6, 2017. Due to delays in appointing a guardian to act on Mrs. Porter’s behalf, as she is not in the legal capacity to make decisions, CVS Pharmacy was not served until July 5, 2017. Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt also filed a motion for preferential setting in May 2017 as Mrs. Porter requires immediate and appropriate treatment for her brain injury, which she presently does not have access to. Said motion was initially set for hearing on July 13, 2017, but at CVS Pharmacy’s request, was continued to August 24, 2017 and is now off calendar.
On August 4, 2017, CVS Pharmacy filed a Notice of Removal to federal court, asserting complete diversity. At this point, Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt requested and was ultimately provided the name of the pharmacist who had dispensed the incorrect prescription to Mrs. Porter. Despite the clear impact this indispensable party would have on diversity, CVS Pharmacy refused to stipulate to remand the case back to Superior Court. Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt now seeks to amend and remand the case back to Los Angeles Superior Court.
Founded in 1943, Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt is the largest black-owned law firm in the nation and one of Southern California’s premier full-service law firms, representing a broad range of businesses, public entities and individuals in a vast array of litigation matters and transactions.
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