Columbia man sues pharmacy

June 24, 1992

A Columbia man has filed a lawsuit against Peoples Drug Store, alleging that he became seriously ill after a pharmacist at the Oakland Mills store filled his prescription with the wrong medicine.

Charging the drug store with negligence and breach of contract, Philip J. Muth, of the 5000 block of Netherstone Court in Columbia, is seeking $500,000 in damages.

The lawsuit also names the pharmacist, James F. McManus, as a defendant. McManus was arrested in March and charged with setting six fires in Howard and Baltimore counties. Earlier this month, police charged him with setting two additional fires and with credit card theft.

According to the lawsuit, Muth, 54, brought his prescription for Propanolol to the Peoples Drug Store in Oakland Mills last Oct. 3. Muth had been taking the high blood-pressure medication for 15 years, the suit states.

McManus filled the prescription with the diuretic Furosemide instead of the prescribed medicine, according to the lawsuit.

Muth took the Furosemide from Oct. 7 through 12, and during that time he became seriously ill. The lawsuit states that Muth suffers a permanent disability, pain and emotional distress as a result of taking the wrong medication. He also says he lost income.

Muth's lawyer, Kathleen M. Cahill, wouldn't specify the nature of Muth's injuries.

Carla Goetz, assistant director of the Maryland Poison Center, said she wouldn't expect a serious reaction if someone accidentally took Furosemide instead of Propanolol. However, the severity of the response to the drug is largely determined by any underlying physical conditions in the patient, Goetz said.

Fred McGrail, a spokesman for CVS Corp., which owns the Peoples Drug Store chain, would not comment on the lawsuit.

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