Nurse’s Medication Error Made Me Overdose. Who Do I Sue?


Laura Schaefer

Have you ever experienced a medication error? It’s a surprisingly common occurrence. It’s one reason why it is so important to pay attention to your own medication dosage. And, it’s a good reason to look at the pills you or your loved ones take regularly. We receive many questions from readers every day about legal issues surrounding healthcare concerns. Recently, we heard from an individual given the wrong medication dosage in a prison setting. Due to this medication error, the reader suffered injuries and wants to know who he can potentially sue for damages.

Question from our reader: I was in prison and the nurses gave me too much of one of my medications. Can I sue the prison or the nurses? I overdosed and had to go to a hospital for three days.

Answer: Yes, you absolutely can sue both the prison and the nurses for your medication error injury. You may also be able to sue your doctor or the responsible pharmacist as well.

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Medication Error Malpractice Cases Are Actually Quite Common

There is legal precedent for filing suit against those responsible for making a medication error in prison. In situations such as this one, the nurse and prison are both responsible for your wellbeing while you remain in prison.

In fact, a similar 2019 trial awarded the plaintiff $30,000 due to a pharmacist’s medication error after several nurses deviated from the standard of care. A pharmacist prescribed this individual a medication called Creon for cystic fibrosis. However, the prisoner in this instance received a different drug than the one the pharmacist originally gave him. The prison nurses told him the pills he didn’t recognize were a generic version of his usual medication. Unfortunately for him, this was not the case. The drug he received was actually Delzicol, a totally different pill which treats ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. While it had a maximum dosage of six pills per day, nurses gave the injured prisoner many more than that. These incorrect and excess pills the nurses gave him in prison caused an array of terrible side effects.

The pharmacist in this case admitted to making a mistake during the four-day trial. The attending nurses also testified and told the truth about what happened. The court based its decision and $30,000 award upon finding the pharmacist’s actions negligent. In addition, the judge found his nurses deviated from the accepted standard of medical care.

Why It’s Important to Take Action

Any time a healthcare professional deviates from the usual standard of care and that action (or inaction) harms you, it’s considered medical malpractice. This includes any medication error, regardless of whether it’s too much, too little, or simply the wrong drug. To ensure fewer errors like this happen in the future, you must take legal action. It doesn’t matter if the error happened in prison. Healthcare professionals must follow the same standard of care, regardless of where they administer medications to patients. Finally, you should know that all nurses, dentists, hospitals, and doctors must carry medical malpractice insurance. These insurance policies are in place to protect patients injured by a medication error, botched surgery, misdiagnosis, or other acts of negligence.

Talk To A Medical Malpractice Lawyer for Free Today

We are here to answer your questions regarding possible cases involving medical mistakes. While this article can serve as a general guide, please reach out to a medical malpractice attorney to discuss your own situation. All lawyers LegalASAP can connect you with will offer free, no-obligation medical malpractice consultations.

If you or someone you love suffers a medication error injury, you have limited time to claim a cash settlement. Do not wait. Reach out to a lawyer in our network today to get a free case review and discuss all your options.

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Laura Schaefer

Laura Schaefer is the author ofThe Teashop Girls,The Secret Ingredient, andLittler Women: A Modern Retelling. She is also an active co-author or ghostwriter of several nonfiction books on personal and business development. Laura currently lives in Windermere, Florida with her husband and daughter and works with clients all over the world. Visit her online at and