SAN DIEGO — An Austin, Texas attorney
with a professional background in pharmaceutical cases has offered
his thoughts on the case of Salvatore Lafata vs. the United States,
Thrifty Payless Inc. and Rite Aid Corp.
According to a previous
by the Northern California Record, Lafata of San Diego County
filed suit against the three parties in the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of California on Dec. 15, in which he accuses
them of medical negligence. Lafata alleged that they prescribed him
also known as Reglan, much longer than the drug is supposed to be
taken, which has allegedly caused him to have motor and neurological
problems, along with a variety of other health issues. According to
drugs.com, Metoclopramide is not to be taken longer than 12 weeks or
in amounts that are larger than recommended.
Justinian Lane of
and Associates told the Northern California Record that
Lafata suing these defendants makes the case tough.
has had a black-box warning on the package for a number of years
about this very injury; and pharmacists typically aren't obligated to
warn patients about the dangers of a particular drug," Lane said
in an email interview. "That duty typically falls on
According to drugs.com,
taking Metoclopramide more than is recommended or longer than is
recommended can lead to a movement disorder of which symptoms include
muscle movements in the lips, tongue, eyes, face, arms or legs that
one cannot control and that may not be able to be reversed.
profile also said that Metoclopramide serves as a short-term solution
to treat heartburn that one gets from gastroesophageal reflux when
people have tried other medications but received no help from them.
The website also stated that diabetic people use Metoclopramide to
treat their slow gastric emptying.
Lane said if doctors and
hospitals were involved in the suit, it would be a better case.
black-box warning for Reglan came out in 2009 to warn about long-term
use of Reglan," Lane said.
Lafata alleges that the defendants
began treating him in 2012, and that in that course of treatment, he
was prescribed Metoclopramide for many years. He alleges that the
defendants did not warn him about health risks that were possible
with the long-term use of Metoclopramide and that they did not
diligently care for and treat him.
lawsuit requires the plaintiff to prove what the standard of care is,
that the doctor breached that standard of care, and the breach caused
the plaintiff's injuries," Lane said. "I'd say the standard
of care is not to ignore a black-box warning. Unless they tried other
drugs and failed, Reglan should not have been prescribed for such a
long period of time."
With this lawsuit, Lafata is asking a
judge to rule against the defendants, as well as compensation for
special and general damages and medical expenses through a trial by
jury. Janice Mulligan, Elizabeth Banham and Aida Van Herk of
Mulligan, Banham and Findley are Lafata's counsel in the case.