Doctor, pharmacies accused of wrongful death in overdose

Updated: Jun. 26, 2019 at 6:04 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The family of a Berkeley County woman is suing a local doctor and four national pharmacy chains.

The woman died and her family says she should have never been able to buy thousands of pain pills she was prescribed.

This lawsuit says Emily Elizabeth Smith was only 33 years old when she overdosed and died.

The attorneys at Motley Rice representing her family said in court documents that Smith had a history of terrible migraines and a brain pressure disorder.

They say she was prescribed more than 2,000 pills over two years, including opioids and addictive drugs, and filled them at various pharmacies in Dorchester and Berkeley Counties.

The lawsuit blames a doctor named John Sanders for writing those prescriptions and alleges he didn’t properly evaluate Mrs. Smith in person before writing the prescriptions.

They say the doctor should have realized she was becoming addicted.

The suit also lists Walmart, Walgreens, Target and CVS pharmacies for not properly red-flagging the number of pain pills she was buying.

The DEA requires record-keeping of controlled substances, the plaintiff’s attorneys said.

The suit accuses all of the parties of negligence, gross negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and wrongful death.

“Mrs. Smith left behind a husband, two sisters, her mother, a father, and her husband’s daughter who loved her very much,” court documents state.

Smith died in 2016. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday.

The hospital that employees the doctor involved has not responded to a request for comment.

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