January 31, 2013, couldn’t come fast enough for one New Orleans woman who was finally awarded $1 million by a Jefferson Parish jury. Peggy Williams claimed she received the wrong medication over five years ago from a Walgreens pharmacy in Harvey, Louisiana. The incorrect medication caused her to suffer a stroke.
Williams was supposed to receive high blood pressure medicine, but the pharmacy made a medication mistake and gave her anti-psychotic pills instead. While Walgreens admitted to giving her the wrong prescription, it challenged her claim that a single pill caused her stroke. Instead, it blamed Williams for failing to take her blood pressure medicine, Toprol, regularly.
The jury decided that the principle cause of the stroke was the Walgreens pharmacy error; however, it also determined that Williams was partially negligent because the pill bottle was labeled with another person’s name and a different medication, Zyprexa, was on the label. Williams’ attorneys argued that the pills looked somewhat alike and she was given the prescription in a Walgreens bag with her name on the outside of the bag.
Williams, 59, was wheeled into court in a wheelchair and testified that she will never be able to return to her job and that her 84-year-old father now has to help care for her. Williams sought unspecified damages, but ultimately received $630,000 for past and future medical expenses and the rest for her past and future mental anguish and physical pain and suffering; however, the jury did not award her any money for lost wages.
This verdict came after a four-day trial and a seven-hour jury deliberation. After a five-year battle, Williams won her case and was glad the jury recognized her debilitating injuries.