Prescription Error Causes Teen's Suicide, Plaintiff Wins $7.6M Jury Award

Webster Vicknair MacLeod

Webster Vicknair MacLeodand our Houston medical malpractice attorneys have secured a multimillion-dollar jury award for a family who lost their daughter to suicide. A medical provider prescribed teenage Avery Washington a dangerous antidepressant known for causing suicidal tendencies. Following a lengthy trial, the jury awarded $7,635,000.00 in compensatory and punitive damages, which will hopefully help the grieving family find peace of mind following such a tragic loss.

Details of the Fatal Prescription Error Claim

On March 1st, 2012, Avery came to Pediatrics Cool Care and complained of symptoms related to major depression. She was 14-years old at the time. The Physician Assistant, Jenelle Robinson, PA-C, under the supervision of Dr. Salguero as the physician, prescribed Avery the antidepressant Celexa, despite the black box warning advising that it not be prescribed to adolescents.

At the time of the prescription, there was no discussion with Avery or her mother, Ginger Thompson, regarding the black box warning. They were not informed that they should read the package insert, nor were they told to closely monitor Avery while she was using this prescription. They were also never informed that Avery should be evaluated by a psychiatrist or psychologist. No one even ever informed Avery or her mother that Celexa was linked to an increased risk of suicide.

Following this initial visit, Avery had one subsequent office visit with Allyn Kawalek, RN, FNP-BC, where no warnings were mentioned regarding Celexa. On August 14th, 2012, only five months after her initial visit to Pediatrics Cool Care, Avery committed suicide by overdosing on Diphenhydramine.

Following her daughter’s death, Ginger obtained a set of Avery’s medical records from Dr. Salguero’s office. She provided a copy of those records to Webster Vicknair MacLeod, who was retained to act as her Houston medical malpractice and wrongful death lawyers. However, once Dr. Salguero and his office learned of the suit we would bring against them, Dr. Salguero knowingly altered Avery Washington’s medical records so that there were two different sets. If he had not committed medical malpractice before, he certainly had after that unprofessional decision.

The 40th Judicial District Court in Ellis County, Texas was the location for the trial, which became necessary after the defendant’s continued to deny liability. After a 7-day trial, the jury found that Dr. Jose Salguero was 75% the cause of the death and that Jenelle Robinson was 25% at fault. The jury awarded $7,635,000.00 to Avery’s parents, Ginger Thompson and Brad Washington. We hope nothing for the best for them in the coming years and extend our condolences to them for their loss.

Do you require the representation of our Houston medical malpractice and personal injury lawyers for a claim of your own? We would like to hear from you to see what we can do. Contact us online or call (713) 396-5197 to request a free initial consultation.

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