Nevada Supreme Court rules for our client in significant victory for pharmacies

By Jonathan Allan Klein

On December 24, 2009, the Nevada Supreme Court, in a case of first impression, held that pharmacies do not have a duty to unknown third parties injured by the pharmacy’s patients.  In Sanchez v. Wal-Mart (125 Nev. Adv. Op. No. 60, 2009), the Court confronted a significant issue for pharmacies.

In this case, our client, Rite Aid, and many of Las Vegas’ pharmacy chains, were sued concerning prescriptions filled to a patient who was allegedly abusing the prescriptions.  That patient eventually got into an automobile accident, killing one person and severely injuring another.  The estate of the deceased, and the injured individual, sued the pharmacies, alleging they should not have filled the prescriptions for the patient, because the Nevada Board of Pharmacy had issued notices that this patient was on a watch-list for potential abuse of medications.

However, the Supreme Court agreed with the trial court’s decision dismissing the case, holding that the pharmacies had no duty to these unknown third parties, and that the Board of Pharmacy regulations do not create rights to sue in state court.  The decision is a significant victory for our client, and for all pharmacies doing business in Nevada.

Read the decision at http://www.nevadajudiciary.us/index.php/advancedopinions/609-sanchez-v-wal-mart-stores

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