Posted on Jul 14, 2006
Jury awards $350,000 after Plainfield tot given Prozac
A jury has awarded more than $350,000 in damages for the improper delivery of Prozac to 11-month-old Madeline Mirante in 2004 by Bonneville's Pharmacy in Killingly.
The decision was delivered Monday in Putnam Superior Court by a jury of four women and two men after an hour and a half of deliberation.
"I'm happy for them," said Bob Nethercote, owner of Bonneville's. "But at the same time, I am happy it's behind me."
The pharmacy, on Westcott Road in Danielson, has been in business for decades.
On Nov. 11, 2004, Madeline, who suffers from multiple diseases, including multicystic kidney disease, chronic renal insufficiency, diabetes insipidus and gut dysmotility, was prescribed Prilosec to treat irritation from an endoscopy and biopsy, court papers said. Dr. Anthony Repucci phoned the prescription in to Bonneville's, which had been handling the child's medication.
On Nov. 14, 2004, Madeline's first birthday, Bonneville's delivered Prozac to the Mirante house, which resulted in severe illness and a five-day hospital stay for the baby.
New London attorney Dale Faulkner, who represented Madeline and her parents, Renee and Christopher, said Bonneville's delivered the medication, which was labeled Prozac, but the Mirantes did not know it was not what Repucci had prescribed.
"At no time did the drug store claim in any way that it was the parents' fault," Faulkner said.
Three months ago, the pharmacy admitted it was its own procedures that caused the error, Faulkner said. It was not Repucci who made the error, he said. The doctor was never part of the lawsuit.
The trial, which began July 7, was simply for the jury to decide what damages should be awarded.
Faulkner said he believes negligence on the part of pharmacies is rare.
"But I think it's becoming less rare," Faulkner said. "There's a lot more medication present than there ever was before and there are more pharmacies under more pressure."
For her family, the trial was more about getting justice than a financial reward, Renee Mirante said.
"They still never apologized," Mirante said of the pharmacy. "They never called to see how she was doing. We never got a phone call saying 'we're sorry.' "
Now, Renee Mirante said, every prescription is checked repeatedly before it comes in the house.
Madeline, now 3, still needs a feeding tube and will one day get a kidney from her mother. She takes her illnesses in stride, her mother said.
"She wants to be a 3-year-old and go and play," Renee Mirante said. "She is a typical 3-year-old except she has a feeding tube and there are things she can't do, like the moon bounce and a trampoline."