Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys



Family wins against prescription-happy New York doctor

Prescriptions aren’t as easy as pop a pill and feel better. A lot of people and effort are involved in the process of prescribing medications to patients and sometimes doctors and pharmacists do make prescription errors. Errors can come in the form on wrong drug or wrong dose; errors can be accidental or caused by negligent or careless behavior. Either way, doctors have a duty to patients when dolling out medicine and patients injured by a medication error may be able to take legal action.
A doctor in New York recently lost a malpractice trial against him for overmedicating one of his patients. The jury in the case determined that his overmedication of psychiatric drugs caused the patient to commit suicide. The trial revealed that said doctor was also paid lots of money by pharmaceutical companies to encourage other physicians to use their drugs.
Over the course of nine years, the 61-year-old doctor admitted that he accepted over $200,000 from pharmaceutical companies as compensation for promoting their goods. This practice is not actually illegal for physicians and it is fairly common in the medical industry although it does bring into question a doctor’s true intention in prescribing certain medicines.
The doctor faced other complications in his professional life earlier this year. He was disciplined in February by the state of New York to administering drugs without actually examining or seeing patients. He was also censured for alcohol and drug abuse. These marks against him led to a five-year probation.
The state Supreme Court awarded one and a half million dollars to the family of the man who committed suicide after deciding that the doctor’s negligence led to his death. Testimony revealed that the doctor continued prescribing antidepressants, among other drugs, for over ten years without seeing his patient. A dose right before the patient’s death was likely too high. A medical expert testified for the family at trial and called the doctor’s actions both negligence and malpractice.
Some companies want to prevent these unfortunate scenarios and over-prescribing so they are publicly disclosing payments made to physicians. This will become a requirement in 2013 with new federal legislation. Although legislation and transparency may help a little, families and patients affected by medication mistakes still have the option to take legal recourse against negligent parties.


Jay W. Dankner

JAY W. DANKNER was born, raised and educated in Brooklyn, New York. After graduation from law school in 1973, he joined the firm of the legendary, Harry H, Lipsig, under whose tutelage he learned the intricacies of civil litigation and trials. He tried and won his first case against General Motors in a case involving a design defect within weeks after his admission. Thereafter, he focused his attention on the emerging and developing field of law known as products liability litigation.



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