We have written several times about wrongful death due to illegal prescriptions, and now one Columbus, Ohio pharmacist has been convicted for his role in the illegal distribution of pain medication. Although the pharmacist has been linked to at least two overdose deaths, he has not been charged with direct involvement in those deaths and instead has been found guilty of illegally prescribing 480 tablets of oxycodone, and for filing a fraudulent tax return. In addition to a two-year jail sentence, the pharmacist has been ordered to pay a $75,000 fine and $275,000 in restitution to the IRS.
Although prosecutors have not deemed the evidence sufficient for pursuing a criminal case against this pharmacist, that should not serve as a bar to a wrongful death lawsuit should any of the families feel he is responsible for the deaths of their loved ones. Often, people who cannot be convicted of a crime can still be punished for misconduct with civil lawsuits because the standards of evidence are different. In a criminal case, wrongdoing must be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt,” while in a civil case all that is required is a “preponderance of evidence,” meaning that you just have to show the majority of evidence points to an involvement in the patients’ death.
If you have lost a loved one due to an overdose on illegal painkillers and you are considering a wrongful death lawsuit, please contact the Columbus, Ohio personal injury lawyers at Robert W. Kerpsack, CO, LPA today for a free case evaluation.