Dennis Quaid sues pharmaceutical company

December 4th, 2007 // 95 Comments
1120_dennis_quaid_hospital_00.jpg

Dennis Quaid and his wife Kimberly Buffington filed a lawsuit this afternoon against the makers of Herparin after their newborn twins were given a 10,000 unit dose at Cedars-Sinai Hospital instead of the normal 10 units for infants. The bottles for each dose look exactly the same. The couple is seeking more than $50,000 in damages, according to People:

The Quaids assert that the company knew of previous dosage mix-ups, yet failed to recall shipments of the drug or properly warn hospitals of the dangers.
“On a negligence scale of one to 10, Baxter Corporation gets a 10,” the Quaids’ lawyer, Susan E. Loggans, tells PEOPLE.

Glad to see the Quaids are seeking justice for the potentially fatal medical mix-up involving their kids. That being said, on a “using numbers to denote severity “scale of one to 10, Susan E. Loggins gets a seven for immediately jumping to 10 during an interview. You drop that bomb in the courtroom. I’m not even a lawyer and I know that’s a rookie mistake. Granted, I’ve been sued in several (hundred) paternity cases, but still.

superficial

  1. scratz

    #37, i think you should get your head out of your ass. obviously in this case it was some sort of staff or administrative error, whoever administered the dose should have carefully checked the label. not the physician’s fault. but dont rave about how doctors work 80 hours a week at minimum wage just to save innocent lives. doctors go into the medical field with the expectation of making bank once they finish residency and (most) work very reasonable hours.

    I personally respect nurses more than anyone else in the health care world. They make much less money than doctors relative to their work effort and responsibilities. Things like this happen because hospitals (and in particular nurses) are understaffed, overworked, and generally strained.

    I also think that physicians are ultimately responsible for what meds their patients receive, regardless of who made the error.

  2. fauxfu

    The bottles do look different. The labels both are in white and blue, but one is a much darker shade of blue. Not the wisest choice perhaps, but they’re not the exact same shade.

  3. Mockingdog

    What a bunch of illiterate morons. It reads “more than $50,000″ which means in legalese zillions. Geez

  4. curlygurl

    Why on earth would you need to give a newborn baby heparin anyway? I’m a midwife and have worked on the neonatal unit and have never seen heparin administered.
    In the UK you don’t have to bring action on any birth related ‘incidents’ until the child involved is 21 – that way you can see if theyre have been any long term effects.

  5. RichPort

    Perhaps they can compromise and have the hospital pay for his wife’s liposuction and tummy tuck instead. Or overdose a celebrity of his choice with a drug of his choice. Or demand a lifetime supply of prescription meds, or as Britney Spears calls it, the candy bowl.

  6. Uncle Eccoli

    This is bullshit, some agreement cooked up between Quaid and the hospital. Those labels are clearly not “nearly identical,” they are only similar in appearance.
    This is a matter of an idiot nurse, a smooth-talking administrator, and an actor with more money than anyone could ever need and two (now) healthy babies.

  7. Andie

    I think the parents are doing what they think is right to prevent this from happening again to anyone else. That’s what I would do, too. The amount they’re going for is chump change for a family that rich. They’re not out for money, they want to prevent further tragedy.

    I hope the babies are in good health, and I hope the company adjusts their packaging to help prevent mistakes like this from happening again.

    I don’t disagree that the hospital staff made the error, but why not do something as simple as adjusting the packaging if it can help patients get better care?

  8. wrong

    they are idiots. sue the people that didn’t read how much medicine to give.

  9. wrong

    they are idiots. sue the people that didn’t read how much medicine to give.

  10. Bigger Thomas

    i hope he doesn’t get one red cent.

  11. Ummhmm...

    Yeah. Sue the nurse. Talk about actions that create change to a flawed process! Dumbass.
    Also, if the “regulars” don’t stop bitching about fucking “trolls”, I’m going to dropkick you all right out of your mother’s basement. If “trolls” make you so angry, FIND A NEW MESSAGE BOARD, MORONS.

  12. Big Hannah

    If Quaid and his bimbo wife had tried to have a “natural” family, these babies would not have been in the hospital. It is their fault for RENTING another woman’s uterus so that Mrs. Bikini-model Quaid would not risk her tight little figure.

  13. hey fattie Hannah

    They tried for years to have kids, and “Mrs. Bikini-model Quaid” had FIVE miscarriages, so they finally and reluctantly went the surrogate route. Tard.

  14. Ummhmm

    Also, I have anal herpes and AIDS. I’m so lonely, would someone care to fuck me in the ass?

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  16. Anonymous

    Because you are an ignorant layperson, #51, I will afford you the same forgiveness that I allow all of my patients.

    “doctors go into the medical field with the expectation of making bank once they finish residency and (most) work very reasonable hours” – yes, a potentially good salary IF the current health care climate does not change. However nationalized health care insurance is the number one domestic issue in the 2008 election while Medicare payouts drop regularly, in addition to the fact that the average physician graduates with $130k in debt after medical school (I for instance, dropped $250k on my medical school training). And you obviously are not nor have ever been associated with professional health care to even attempt to remark that physicians work reasonable hours. Most residents work much more than 80 but clock less in order to keep their jobs and residency programs from being denied accreditation. And everyone does it to better the care of patients, while being held to a standard of perfection – or get sued otherwise. No medical test is 100% perfect and no human is totally infallible. Why should we hold doctors and nurses to the same standard?

    “I also think that physicians are ultimately responsible for what meds their patients receive, regardless of who made the error. ” That’s nice – I have better things to do than to personally give each one of my patients their medications. My expectation is that a competant RN or PA will dispense the medications that I have written for. The law agrees with me, so it seems you’re the only one who thinks this way. You know, there’s a name for that… it’s called delusional ideation. Maybe you should see a doctor about it?

    Don’t bother thanking me for forgiving you. I’m used to it. After all, it’s the charity of people like me who allow people like you to continue to exist.

  17. Rovner

    scratz, your argument doesn’t make sense. you say in your first paragraph that in this case it’s not the physicians fault, and then you end by saying that doctors are ultimately responsible no matter who makes the error

  18. KTG13

    Hey all you idiots. Who has more money, nurses, hospitals, or drug manufacturers? When filing a law suit you go after the person who has the most money. You don’t sue a fucking nurse who makes $15 an hour. And you go after the person who can make the most change so that it doesn’t happen again. Suing the hospital might change things at that hospital but whatabout the rest of the hospitals around the country? The drug manufacturer is the right place to sue. And for those of you ignorant shit bags who think they deserve this because they used a surrogate, you are EVIL. You shouldn’t even wish ill will on a child. Just for thinking that, I hope Karma comes around and slaps you silly.

  19. whatever

    It’s a nurses’ fucking job to administer the correct dose. That means READING THE FUCKING BOTTLE. It’s not the drug companies fault if a nurse didn’t read the fucking bottle.

  20. Jen

    I’m a nurse. One of the fundamentals you always, always, ALWAYS follow is to check the vial THREE times–once before you draw it up, again after you draw it up, and a third time before you administer it. Plain and simple. Yes, it would probably be extremely helpful to change the style of ampules as I can attest that they do indeed look extremely similar. HOWEVER, it is always the nurse’s responsibility for medication errors, both legally and ethically. Besides, if you KNOW the vials look exactly alike wouldn’t that be an even greater motivation to double-check yourself?

    And, btw, nurses are rarely ever, ever sued as individuals. They are usually named as parties to a suit filed against a hospital, as we are always covered by the hospital’s umbrella malpractice coverage.

  21. duster

    Curlygirl,
    you are talking absolute and utter shite.
    You have UNTIL the age of 21 to bring a suit on behalf of a child in the UK.

  22. Thank you #37 for corrrecting me. My bad. That is why I put nurse/Dr as in I wasn’t positive WHO administered it, but I would kick WHOEVER’s ass that did it. As far as you “prescribing” things and washing your hands of all responsibility, usually Dr.’s are notorious for crappy, foreign chicken scratch that is intellegible. Is it any wonder that people have to be employed who can decipher prescriptions from Dr’s that don’t speak English? I have had enough experience with “my shit don’t stink” Dr’s like you, to expect a long-winded and lofty response on medical issues.

  23. c.brooke

    The medicine is call Heparin, not Herparin. Its a blood thinner, not a drug for HSV!

  24. nurse lah

    Dude…stop posting it incorrectly…it’s heparin…not herparin. I let it go the first time but damn.

  25. duster

    Curlygirl,
    Sorry, i don’t think I read your post properly. I thought you were saying in the UK you couldn’t start proceedings until the child was 21.
    Having said that – if your child has been brain damaged, it’s usually evident in the first couple of years. You’re not going to wait 21 years to see how bad the effects of the negligence are.
    Plus, most people would start clinical negligence claims as early as possible, simply because the longer you wait the harder it is to gather the evidence that negligence occurred.

  26. jakebarnes

    I feel for him and his family. For some reason I’ve always really liked him.

    Also, I’m surprised the Superfish didn’t make some reference to his last name being the same as Dennis Quaid’s wife’s. Buffington–that’s just rich.

  27. Anonymous

    @ cowgirl:

    Did you mean, “unintelligible”? That is why we have computer systems and printable prescriptions.

    If you want to hold health care professionals to a standard of absolute perfection, then fucking go to medical school or nursing school and give your own medications to your own kids, or shut the fuck up and deal with a health care system that will never be perfect. Nothing would please me more than having you escorted out by hospital security and considering having your kids removed from you by DCFS.

    My shit does stink… just not as much as yours, you ignorant buffoon.

  28. Hey 77! Thanks for correcting me–you should know the definition of unintelligible then?!
    I don’t hold health care professionals to a perfect standard—the physicians presume to be perfect for me. As far as DCFS, I had to look that up, so I’m assuming I’ve never encountered anyone from that department and since my daughter has grown to the ripe age of 14, I’ll assume I will never encounter the DCFS.
    It is super fun to take things personally and get all riled up over an internet site. Methinks you should change your occupation. I was fed up with the educational system and LEFT it!

  29. Pat

    Only $50,000? If I was a movie star with money to hire a good lawyer and some crazy messed up shit happened to my babies because of some evil corporation, I’d take them for all they’re worth. I guess it’s pretty magnanimous of Quaid to only ask for little more than what he’ll probably spend in legal fees, but I am not that strong a person. There would be some hungry, homeless executives cowering in the streets of . . . um, Wall Street if a pharmaceutical company was responsible for the near-death of my child(ren). Meanwhile, I would be laughing from their former penthouse above, while smelling a large wad of cash and decking out my infants in Mr. T-style bling.

  30. gina

    They are suing the drug com bec of how the vials are labeled. Different doses of the drug look the same. the hospital should be sued as well for not double checking the dosage ESPECIALLY if its confusing

  31. What a suprisingly apt name

    Hi ignorant buffoon,
    You say you left the education system and you’re happier? Well, you know what they say, ignorance is bliss…

    Just so you know, DCFS can take any child (<18 years) of an abusive parent, which means that you can still qualify, so you’d better put that ankle bracelet on your daughter. Geez, that’s like, the 3rd time I’ve had to educate you today! Methinks you never should have left the education system… on second thought, maybe it’s better that way. I don’t want a fucking retard like you having anything to do with teaching kids.

  32. #81, Yes ignorance is bliss–that is why I left the education system to their ignorance. FYI–I would have been an asset to the medical community–trying to get science hammered into closed minds.

    Thank you again for educating me on DCFS? A subject you are well-versed or well-researched in? Although—ankle bracelets and being “led away” by security guards could be a fun event that I haven’t tried. Spank me!

    The educational system probably doesn’t want esteemed physicians like yourself uttering un-pc phrases like “retard” either! I used to prefer the term “extra chromosome” when refering to someone of somewhat challenged intellect. Last time I checked I have all 46!

    Pray tell, are you a surgeon, general practice physician, or do you work for the free clinic?

  33. Haha! You guys are funny! #81 can’t possibly really work for the medical community. Real doctors are at the golf course or feeling up some fake boobied trophy doll right now and have their heads way too far up their ass to take time to chat with the public!

  34. Melissa

    I am also a nurse and agree with Jen (#70) 100%.

    Regardless of who orders the medication (doctor) or sends it to the unit(pharmacy), it is ultimately the nurse’s responsiblity to read the label and make damn sure he or she knows exactly what’s being administered.

  35. Uh

    They look exactly the same? Doesn’t one say 10 and the other 10,000?

  36. Tekneek

    #17

    I came here to say the same thing. It’s good to see there are some people with intelligence here.

    It’s clear the Quaid’s are not trying to make money. They are trying to get the pharmaceutical company to differentiate the bottles so some poor kid in the future doesn’t get the wrong dosage again. If they win the lawsuit, it sets a precedent so if this happens again the next family will know they can expect to win if they sue the company for millions, and the next and the next until the problem is fixed.

  37. kimbohead

    Doctors making bank? Don’t be a shithead.

    My husband graduated from a state med school in 1993. Did residency until 1996, then a fellowship until 1998. During residency, he earned $37k, during fellowship he earned $40k and as a Johns Hopkins Med faculty member, he started at 80k and never made more than 110k before we moved away.

    Wow-that’s really BANK when you’re facing $150k in student loans at 7% interest and you can’t start saving for your retirement until you’re 45 years old because your loans payments are $1800 a month and you’re living in an expensive city like Baltimore.

    So, when you see those fancy Hopkins doctors on the news, talking about the latest research? They drive crappy Honda Accords, wear the same suit for years and don’t have iPhones.

    The MD never administers the drug, either. He/She writes the Rx and it’s up to the nurse to take it from there-the MD has already moved on to another patient by then and must trust the nurse. Most of the time, they do.

    And I’m not blaming the nurse, either, although she could have caught the error-who knows how busy the NICU was at that moment.

    I think $50k is valid. They have plenty of money and his wife is a real estate investor with plenty of cash. They’re making a point and it’s a good one. I hope the company changes the SOP for labeling.

  38. Ihji96

    #16 Where do these nurses work that you know that make $80,000 a year because I so want a job there. The only staff RN in a hospital that might make this would be an agency/travel nurse working overtime at a hospital in New York and maybe too California. I could see a nurse practitioner making this kind of salary or more but they wouldn’t work as a staff nurse at a hospital in a unit.

    #37 Step down off your high horse and lose the God complex they teach you all so well in Med school. Do you know how many doctor’s asses I have saved, being the lowly nurse that I am, because either the doctor didn’t have a clue what med he was ordering, for what patient they were ordering for, or for that matter what the correct dose should be. We won’t even go into how you antiquated idiots should be doing computer order entry by now instead of wasting the time of half the hospital staff deciphering your shitty handwriting and making call backs to you. If your comeback is that you do, then kudos for you because most doctors aren’t.

    People out in the real world who want to know where a lot of your medical errors come from, there you go! An MD writes a crappy order, the pharmacist runs with it and then the nurse thinking these people know what they’re doing gives the medicine. This is why I don’t trust any of these people when it’s my license on the line. Two important tidbits I learned during nursing school read the charts and orders for yourselves before giving meds and that drug books are your best friends.

    This whole situation was a failed process as far as I’m concerned. First, the drug manufacture needs to address their labels for different dosages. Second, the pharmacist and the pharmacist tech for the drug being in the wrong place or for them not catching the improper dosing before it even made it to the nurse. Finally, by the nurse that didn’t triple check the dose and have another nurse check the dose with her.

  39. seriously??

    FIRST!! – I didn’t think it was you, I saw that you said it was your troll… nonetheless that someone would say it is… perturbing…

  40. S

    I commented on #20 *before* the pics came back of the different dose bottles. *If* that photo from TMZ is from heparin that was at Cedars at the time of the mixup, then they are different enough in my opinion to qualify as “marked differently” to avoid dosage confusion.

    Then reading 54. curlygurl’s comment reminded me that the hospital I worked at mostly gave saline flushes, not heparin. I believe they also flushed pedi IVs with only saline too.

    There are times when it’s necessary to use heparin in babies and pedis: my son was in NICU and received heparin regularly, but that was because his diagnosis affected his clotting times. But unless it’s medically necessary, heparin is too dangerous of a drug to use when it’s not medically necessary.

    The hospital I worked at had some other anal rules: Two licensed nurses must witness and initial in the drug records all insulin or heparin injections. The witnessing nurse had to look at the drug vial to make sure it was the right drug/dosage, and then confirm the amount drawn was correct as per medical orders. That’s the only hospital I worked at, does Cedars have this requirement?

    So, now I’m changing my mind from my first post since seeing those pics at TMZ (*if* those are actually what Cedars had in their inventory at the time).

    Now my questions would be:

    1. Was it medically necessary for the babies to have their IV locks flushed with heparin?

    2. If not, WHY were they flushed with heparin? Was it a written doctors order that the IVs had to be flushes with heparin, or was it Cedar’s house policy that all IV locks be flushed with heparin?

    If the law suit continues as is, and those photos are correct, I’d find the pharmacy companies not guilty. But if it was Cedar’s house policy to flush with heparin, I’d award the Quaids legal fees only, and vote that Cedars HAD to change their IV Lock flushing policy (and hopefully other hospitals still flushing all locks with heparin would follow suit since precedence had been set).

  41. he is mature and cute but someone said he have joined an
    online club sugarmommymeet, by which he is seeking a sexy girl or rich women
    for extramarital relationship.. f

  42. just think, think about what ??? http://www.spymac.com/details/?2316804 nice dance with a sweet girl he he

  43. You guys are funny! Real doctors are at the golf course or feeling up some fake boobied trophy doll right now and have their heads way too far up their ass to take time to chat with the public!

  44. P.O.P

    @ anyone against this ruling, and needle-dick posing as a MD just to talk trash to that Teacher.

    Pharmaceutical Companies pull all kinds of fancy lobbying and bribery stunts. If a lawsuit was going to be filed to “set Precedence”, they should be charged “Guilty” for the “Improper Labeling” charge, $50,000 awarded to the Plaintiff, and another 1 Billion awarded to the “Federal Medicare” budget and THAT, my friends, would set precedence. To you doctors who think you are all “High and Mighty” and your “Shit” don’t stink, research Zyprexa Lawsuit and see what the search comes up with. Doctors are overworked BECAUSE THEY CARE, Doctors also stay and treat patients “CORRECTLY!” because they care, and if you can find a Nurse position that pays $50,000 or more a year, TAKE IT because it just isn’t going to happen!

    Now, on the other hand you have these Psychologist’s and Psychiatrist’s who like prescribe these “New FDA Approved” drugs that are suppose to be safer, but yet these new drugs, research “Zyprexa” and “Seroquel” that cause major health issues, including but not limited to “Brain De-Formalities”! A doctor can only prescribe a new a Medication based on what the Pharmaceutical Companies label them for due to the fact that there is no actual “testing and research” time and/or evidence that these medications do what they are told they do and what the side-effects are.

    Next, someone stated “FDA Approved”, FDA Approval does not mean JACK! FDA Approval is based only on basic precautions and make sure that the Pharm. Comp. have covered their own asses as far as legal matters go. They can only do that to a certain extent though based on the lack of research and testing time/evidence as stated in above paragraph. I am a patient who was prescribed medications such as Zyprexa and Seroquel based on a false diagnoses that was handed to me by “The Acadia Hospital” of Bangor, Maine. I was put in their care upon the FALSE Arrest of a so-called “Attempted Suicide” by the South West Police Department, particularly Dave Chappais, S.W.P.D Police Chief. I have evidence on the false arrest and accusation of Attempted Suicide, and I have the evidence on the False Diagnosis of Bi-Polar I, also backed up that I do not have ADD/ADHD, Bi-Polar type II, nor Schizophrenia.

    My points #1.) The ENTIRE system, from federal, to Hospital, to Health Care Provider, down to the Nurse and even the patients!
    Point #2.) CANT WE ALL JUST GET ALONG!?!?!?

  45. P.O.P

    @ anyone against this ruling, and needle-dick posing as a MD just to talk trash to that Teacher.

    Pharmaceutical Companies pull all kinds of fancy lobbying and bribery stunts. If a lawsuit was going to be filed to “set Precedence”, they should be charged “Guilty” for the “Improper Labeling” charge, $50,000 awarded to the Plaintiff, and another 1 Billion awarded to the “Federal Medicare” budget and THAT, my friends, would set precedence. To you doctors who think you are all “High and Mighty” and your “Shit” don’t stink, research Zyprexa Lawsuit and see what the search comes up with. Doctors are overworked BECAUSE THEY CARE, Doctors also stay and treat patients “CORRECTLY!” because they care, and if you can find a Nurse position that pays $50,000 or more a year, TAKE IT because it just isn’t going to happen!

    Now, on the other hand you have these Psychologist’s and Psychiatrist’s who like prescribe these “New FDA Approved” drugs that are suppose to be safer, but yet these new drugs, research “Zyprexa” and “Seroquel” that cause major health issues, including but not limited to “Brain De-Formalities”! A doctor can only prescribe a new a Medication based on what the Pharmaceutical Companies label them for due to the fact that there is no actual “testing and research” time and/or evidence that these medications do what they are told they do and what the side-effects are.

    Next, someone stated “FDA Approved”, FDA Approval does not mean JACK! FDA Approval is based only on basic precautions and make sure that the Pharm. Comp. have covered their own asses as far as legal matters go. They can only do that to a certain extent though based on the lack of research and testing time/evidence as stated in above paragraph. I am a patient who was prescribed medications such as Zyprexa and Seroquel based on a false diagnoses that was handed to me by “The Acadia Hospital” of Bangor, Maine. I was put in their care upon the FALSE Arrest of a so-called “Attempted Suicide” by the South West Police Department, particularly Dave Chappais, S.W.P.D Police Chief. I have evidence on the false arrest and accusation of Attempted Suicide, and I have the evidence on the False Diagnosis of Bi-Polar I, also backed up that I do not have ADD/ADHD, Bi-Polar type II, nor Schizophrenia.

    My points #1.) The ENTIRE system, from federal, to Hospital, to Health Care Provider, down to the Nurse and even the patients!
    Point #2.) CANT WE ALL JUST GET ALONG!?!?!?

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