Lawsuit claims negligence against doctor and pharmacy

Tablets of 200 mcg. of Misoprostol is also used to prevent stomach ulcers in patient using other medications, as well as to induce labor in late-term pregnancies. (Photo by Cytotec)

Atascadero woman says she was unaware she was prescribed ‘abortion pill’

ATASCADERO — An Atascadero women, Lorena Anderson filed a lawsuit on Jan. 7  against Dignity Health, Dr. Maria Rasul, and Rite Aid Pharmacy. The lawsuit is for damages and a jury trial for negligence, medical negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress as the result of taking a medication that she was unaware would cause her to lose her unborn fetus.
In the lawsuit filed with the San Luis Obispo Superior Court, Anderson’s lawyers from The May Firm in San Luis Obispo stated that Anderson alleges that on March 20, 2018, she went to see Dr. Rasul at the Bishop’s Peak Women’s Health Center, located at 1941 Johnson Ave., Suite 301 in San Luis Obispo. The center is owned, maintained and operated by Dignity Health.
During her visit with Dr. Rasul, who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology, Anderson told Rasul that she suspected she was pregnant. A pregnancy test and ultrasound confirmed the pregnancy. After being discharged, Dr. Rasul prescribed Anderson 200 microgram oral tablet of misoprostol.
The lawsuit states, “Dr. Rasul carelessly and negligently prescribed” the medication and also added that misoprostol, also known by the brand name Cytotec and is “commonly referred to as the abortion pill.”
The lawsuit continues to allege that Dr. Rasul and the medical defendants at the health center neglected to inform Anderson that misoprostol had been prescribed to the plaintiff and neglected to inform her of the nature and effects of misoprostol.
In the suit, Rite Aid Pharmacy, located at 7025 El Camino Real in Atascadero, was cited as one of the parties involved. It is alleged that Dr. Rasul and medical defendants contacted the Rite Aid Pharmacy and had canceled the prescription of the misoprostol before Anderson retrieved it.
“Thereafter, Pharmacy Defendants carelessly and negligently filled the prescription of misoprostol” which Anderson picked up. While she picked up the prescription the lawsuit states that the pharmacy defendants neglected to inform Anderson the nature and effects of misoprostol and they neglected to ask if Anderson was pregnant. The pharmacy defendants also neglected to inform Anderson that if she ingested misoprostol her unborn fetus would be at risk.
After picking up the prescription, Anderson “orally ingested one tablet of misoprostol 200 mcg. as directed by Dr. Rasul and medical defendants.”
The lawsuit alleges that as a result of Anderson ingesting the misoprostol her “unborn fetus was aborted.”
Anderson’s lawyers state in the suit that as a result of the negligence of the defendants, that Anderson was “hurt and injured in her health, strength, and activity, sustaining injury to her body and shock and injury to her nervous system and person, all of which have caused and continue to cause Plaintiff great mental, physical and emotional distress and pain and suffering” and other damages include “economic damages and loss of earnings in an amount that is unknown at this time” and that Anderson has suffered, “a loss of earning capacity in an amount presently unknown” and  “general damages in an amount presently unknown, but which will be proven at trial.” They requested a judgment for damages, in a sum that may seem “just and reasonable” and other relief as to the court “may seem just and equitable”.
At this time Rite Aid or Dignity Health have not released statements regarding the lawsuit.
The case is scheduled for a hearing on May 13 at the San Luis Obispo Superior Court.

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