Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of West Virginia decided an interesting case that may influence the way Florida courts interpret a pressing legal issue in the State. In the case of Tug Valley Pharmacy, LLC v. All Plaintiffs Below, a group of 29 plaintiffs banded together to sue three pharmacists and one physician, alleging that the medication they received from the defendants led them to become addicted to and abuse controlled substances.
The Case at Trial
The group of plaintiffs claimed that the defendants provided them with prescriptions for certain medications, namely oxycodone, xanax, and Lortab, which furthered their addictions and ultimately led them into criminal behavior, including possession, distribution, fraud, misrepresentation, and doctor-shopping. Most of the plaintiffs admitted to using prescription drugs recreationally prior to receiving the prescription from the defendant doctors.
Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that the defendants were aware of and perpetuated the “pill mill” activities of medical providers, such as refilling prescriptions too early, filling prescriptions for large amounts of medication, providing contradicting medication to the same patient, and providing medications that are known to work together to provide a “better high.”