March 24, 2015, PNLR E-Newsletter
Negligent prescription of Imitrex
The plaintiff, who suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, alleged that her family physician prescribed Imitrex for her migraine headaches without first inquiring whether she had taken another headache medicine that day that is contraindicated for use with Imitrex. The jury awarded about $4.41 million. Stelmack v. Lucio-Reincke.
Barbara Stelmack, 55, took the medication Axert for her migraine headaches. During one migraine episode, Stelmack’s daughter contacted family physician Laura Lucio-Reincke and told her that Stelmack’s medications were not working and that she wanted to try something different. The doctor prescribed Imitrex. After Stelmack took the Imitrex as directed, she suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. This resulted in permanent left-sided paralysis, necessitating assistive devices, attendant care, and home renovations.
Stelmack sued Lucio-Reincke, alleging she negligently prescribed Imitrex, which is contraindicated when a patient has taken Axert in the past 24 hours. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant never inquired whether she had taken Axert recently and did not warn her to avoid Imitrex if she had done so in the past 24 hours. The plaintiff did not claim lost income.
The jury awarded about $4.41 million.
Citation: Stelmack v. Lucio-Reincke, No. 13-001139-NH (Mich. Cir. Ct. St. Clair Cnty. Dec. 2, 2014).
Plaintiff counsel: AAJ member Donna M. MacKenzie, Berkley, Mich.
Plaintiff experts: John P. Conomy, neurology, Beachwood, Ohio; and Harry Strothers, family medicine, East Point, Ga.