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Lawsuits & Litigation

Walgreens Hit with Wrongful Death Suit After Death of Pierre Community Leader

— January 21, 2020

Walgreens recently came under fire in a wrongful death lawsuit after a Pierre man died from Amiodarone toxicity.

A family is suing Walgreens for the wrongful death of John Stengle, a leader in the Pierre community. According to the lawsuit, a Walgreens pharmacy failed to “correctly fill Stengle’s prescription for Amiodarone, anti-arrhythmic drug, which caused Stengle to suffer from Amiodarone toxicity.” The suit further states, “If a patient suffers Amiodarone toxicity, vital organs such as the liver, lungs, and kidneys may become irreversibly damaged leading to death.”

Pharmacy cabinet
Pharmacy cabinet; image courtesy of moakets via Wikimedia Commons,

The error occurred even though medical records confirmed that the pharmacy “received the correct prescription and dosing instructions from Stengle’s cardiologist for 90-days worth of 126 pills with instructions to tier the dosing at four levels.” However, Walgreens “filled Stengle’s prescription with 500 pills instead of 126 and did not include part of the dosing instructions.” To make matters worse, the pharmacy “re-filled the prescription before the pills ran out and re-started the ‘heavy-tiered’ dosing and again did not include the dosing instructions which would have decreased the dosage to be taken for the last two weeks of the four-week regimen,” according to the suit. As a result, the suit claims that “over the course of several months Stengle’s body suffered from Amiodarone toxicity, which caused multi-system organ failure.” Court documents further state:

“Mr. Stengle suffered a long, painful death witnessed by his wife and his daughter. Prior to his death, John Stengle endured severe conscious mental and physical pain and suffering, for which the Estate of John Stengle seeks damages…His widow, Karen Stengle, has suffered the loss of his care, society, services, companionship, contributions, consortium and support of her husband…His daughter, Nicole Stengle, has suffered the loss of his care, society, services, companionship, contributions, consortium and support of her father.”

As a result of the incident, the suit is seeking $75,000 in damages and argues “that Walgreens employees, pharmacists, pharmacists assistants, aids, technicians agents and others who may be involved are responsible for the wrongful death of Stengle” because the pharmacy failed to “provide full and correct dosage instructions to Stengle and incorrectly filled, then refilled his prescription before his pills ran out.” 

Before his death, Stengle spent time advocating for people with disabilities. His obituary stated:

“He was honored to be invited to the White House, where he witnessed the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. In 2001, he was hired as executive director of the Housing and Redevelopment Commission of Pierre, a role he would serve until his retirement.”

At the moment Walgreens has requested a jury trial, though a trial date has yet to be scheduled.


Walgreens sued for wrongful death of Pierre community leader

Walgreens in Pierre sued for wrongful death of community leader


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