Prescription Transcription Error Leads to $140M Wrongful Death Verdict

An Alabama jury awarded $140 million last week in a wrongful death lawsuit over a prescription error that was allegedly caused by the outsourcing of medical transcription services. 

Sharron Juno died in March 2008, after receiving a fatal drug dose, which the jury blamed on both a transcription service in India and the hospital that gave her the prescription, Thomas Hospital in Baldwin County, Alabama.

According to allegations raised at trial during the wrongful death lawsuit, Thomas Hospital outsourced medical transcription services to a company that used workers in in Mumbai and New Delhi, India, who made errors that led to Juno’s death.

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The lawsuit claimed that the transcription service, which transcribed admission paperwork sent from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility to which Juno was being transferred, made three critical errors. The most serious of which was incorrectly transcribing the dosage of Levemir insulin as 80 units instead of the actual amount prescribed; eight.

As a result of the prescription error, Juno reportedly suffered severe brain damage due to a Levemir overdose, leading to cardiopulmonary arrest and ultimately to her death.

The lawsuit claimed Thomas Hospital failed to follow its own procedures by not reviewing or signing Juno’s Discharge Summary. According to a press release issued by Juno’s attorneys, it was also revealed at trial that U.S. employees of the transcription company had complained about the subcontractors at Medusind Solutions Inc. in Mumbai and Sam Tech Datasys in New Delhi, indicating that the companies’ work was shoddy and prone to errors.

According to a local medial report by WKRG.com, Thomas Hospital officials have indicated that they believe the $140 million verdict was an excessive judgment and plan to appeal.

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