An Illinois woman has filed suit against Walgreens in a New York state court, claiming store personnel gave her incorrect instructions for handling the anti-rejection drugs prescribed to her 3-year-old son after his heart transplant, resulting in his death. In the suit – a refiling of a suit originally filed in state court in August 2011 – the Plaintiff Tatiana Lowe says Walgreens employees insisted on the incorrect instructions even after she said they contradicted previous instructions she had been given for the drug, and that, as a result, the drugs did not have their proper effect and her son, Albert Dobbins III, went into heart failure and died.

It’s alleged in the suit that prior to Feb. 19, 2011, Ms. Lowe had a prescription for anti-rejection drug tacrolimus filled at a Chicago Walgreens for her son, who had undergone a heart transplant. The Plaintiff contends she and her mother, who was also caring for Albert, were told by both Walgreens employees and by the label the employees placed on the medication that tacrolimus was to be kept refrigerated. The complaint states:

At said time, Walgreens knew or should have known that tacrolimus must be mixed with the proper ingredients and stored at room temperature in order to provide the anticipated efficacy and beneficial anti-rejection effects to organ transplant patients such as Albert Dobbins.

The Plaintiff says that she questioned the directions and informed the Walgreens’ staff that previous tacrolimus prescriptions had come with warnings not to refrigerate it, but that the staff “carelessly and negligently rebuked and misled” her. She also alleged the prescription had substituted ingredients, including generic tacrolimus, “in deviation from the Defendant’s own recipe and current medical literature.”

The Plaintiff says that she followed the directions given by the Walgreens employees, but that because of the refrigeration, the drug had “sub-therapeutic and unreasonably dangerous effects,” resulting in heart failure. The child died in the hospital on Feb. 20.

Ms. Lowe is represented by James H. Lawler III of Shea Law Group and Francis P. Morrissey of Burke Wise Morrissey & Kaveny. The case is Tatiana Lowe v. Walgreens Co., (case number 2017-L-010998) in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Law Division.


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