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Oops! Mom sues pharmaceutical firm for cost of raising daughter after mislabeled birth control pills

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A single mom is suing a pharmaceutical firm for the cost of raising her daughter after a packaging error allowed her to become pregnant.

Shanta Russell, 33, is demanding compensation from Qualitest Pharmaceuticals after the firm admitted her birth control pills had been put in the wrong order in the blister pack.

Placebo pills, to be taken when a woman has her period, were placed in the packs where active pills should have been.

This rendered Russell's contraceptives, which she had been taking for more than 12 years, ineffective.

The Kansas City native found out she was pregnant in June 2011.

Three months later she received a letter from Qualitest informing her of the mix-up.

She gave birth to her baby girl in early 2012, and filed the lawsuit in Jackson County Circuit Court on Feb. 6.

Qualitest's parent firm and the company that packaged the drugs are also being sued.

The Kansas City Star reports Russell, a self-confessed workaholic, had not intended to become pregnant so soon as she was working two jobs.

"I was devastated," Russell told The Star.

"I questioned myself. After all these years, how could this happen? Then I received a letter in the mail. Of course I was angry. There was nothing I did that was a mistake."

But she also revealed that she "adored" her little girl, saying that she now "can't live without her"

Endo Pharmaceuticals, Qualitest's parent company, has refused to comment on the case.

It is also facing similar lawsuits from women in California, Tennessee, Texas and Georgia.


by on Feb. 20, 2013 at 12:03 PM
Replies (11-20):
LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Feb. 20, 2013 at 12:25 PM
I believe the fact that she had taken their product effectively for 12 years will strengthen her case, but it will likely come down to what a jury believes.

Quoting adulation:

on one hand I see how they can be held responsible, yet on the other hand what if she had become pregnant with the pills in the right spots? like if she had not taken them at  the same time every day or had forgotten to take one of them, or one of the many mistakes we can make that can lesson the effects of our pills which we all know are NOT 100% effective?!

I guess she got lucky that they made a mistake,.


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meriana
by Gold Member on Feb. 20, 2013 at 12:28 PM
1 mom liked this

Sounds to me like she simply wants and expects a large payout. If I remember correctly the pills are different colors, so if she's been taking them for 12 yrs, I'd think she'd know by looking at them that they were in the wrong order. Even a suspicion of it should have told her to check with the company or her local pharmacist at the very least.

AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Feb. 20, 2013 at 12:33 PM
2 moms liked this
I hope she wins. They screwed up big time and as a pharma company, they shouldn't make those kind of mistakes. People roll their eyes and say she shouldn't sue because she got a baby out of it but the company needs to pay attention to its drugs. BC pills aren't the only ones that go in blister packs and they are lucky no one died.

Also I've seen some BC pills that have six different colors with the pills switching colors every fifth day, hard to decide which color should be there on that day and caveat emptor isn't really fair on this kind of screw up
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lga1965
by Ruby Member on Feb. 20, 2013 at 12:46 PM
Oh my goodness !
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Sisteract
by Whoopie on Feb. 20, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Calling attention to errors helps to put stop gaps in place to ensure that this particular error will not happen again. It is used as a learning tool- Look at the meds before you take them, read the bottle and instructions 3Xs, and if anything seems off, stop and enquire. In this case, being familiar with the meds, she should have noticed the colored pills being out of sequence per her cycles (unless colors were also part of the error).

Woodbabe
by Woodie on Feb. 20, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Well she's not the only one sueing for this same thing, other women are too....they may have a valid case!

Ziva65
by Gold Member on Feb. 20, 2013 at 1:18 PM
I actually thought the opposite, was it wrong for 12 years? Or was it a period if time during the 12 years in which she didn't happen to notice the difference?


Quoting LauraKW:

I believe the fact that she had taken their product effectively for 12 years will strengthen her case, but it will likely come down to what a jury believes.



Quoting adulation:

on one hand I see how they can be held responsible, yet on the other hand what if she had become pregnant with the pills in the right spots? like if she had not taken them at  the same time every day or had forgotten to take one of them, or one of the many mistakes we can make that can lesson the effects of our pills which we all know are NOT 100% effective?!

I guess she got lucky that they made a mistake,.



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pansyprincess
by Silver Member on Feb. 20, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Ridiculous.  Fine if they want to give her some sort of compensation ... but the cost of raising her daughter?  No one said she had to have it. 

Ziva65
by Gold Member on Feb. 20, 2013 at 1:24 PM
I don't know. Yes, they made a mistake, and she'll probably get something just for that. BUT it wouldnt have been failsafe anyway.. Still a risk.



She prob wouldn't want me on the jury. Things happen. Seems ridiculous to me that someone would rely on that for their life plan...and ask the its if raising a child? Idk...
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pamelax3
by Gold Member on Feb. 20, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Well all I can say is this company is very lucky no one died, maybe they will pay attention to their way of packaging prescriptions

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