Woman Spends Night In Jail For Picking Up Prescription Refill

Police in Dallas added insult to injury when they arrested a woman in a leg brace for a shattered knee on charges of forging her painkiller prescription, even though her doctor says no one ever checked with him to see if the ‘scrip was legitimate.

The woman tells CBS Dallas Fort Worth that she’d called her local CVS to order a refill on her prescription for Norco. When it was ready, the pharmacist called her to ask when exactly she’d be coming by to pick up her meds.

The pills were not waiting for her at the counter, but a police officer was.

“He was like ‘we need to go outside,’” she tells CBS. “I was on crutches and I had a permanent IV line in my arm. I had a big leg brace… He said, ‘Well we believe that you have forged your pain pill prescription and we are calling your doctor now. But I’ve worked with this pharmacist a number of times and he’s never made a mistake.”

And yet, the issue was not resolved quickly, as she remained in jail overnight until finally being released on bond, but only after being charged with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.

She also was not allowed to return to work until she was able to show her employer that the arrest was made in error.

The police eventually dropped the charges but that’s not stopping the woman for suing CVS for False Imprisonment and Defamation.

“Every doctor that prescribes a narcotic had a DEA number that’s unique to them and if that is cross referenced and the correct doctor is contacted then I don’t imagine that this type of thing would happen,” her lawyer explains. “We suspect the wrong doctor was contacted because they didn’t cross reference the DEA number.”

The doctor confirms that he wrote the prescription but also says CVS never contacted him about it before his patient’s arrest.

A CVS rep tells a CBS reporter, “We are investigating how this unfortunate incident occurred and we are working to resolve the matter.”

Woman Jailed For Trying To Fill A Prescription [CBS DFW]

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  1. Coffee says:

    I’ll bet the doctor got drunk and made the prescription legible. That would make me suspicious too.

    Good luck with your lawsuit, lady…sounds like they deserve to be sued.

    • Polish Engineer says:

      After a hernia repair my doc wrote the prescription so illegibly the pharmacists didn’t even know what dose to dispense and refused to fill it.

      • Coffee says:

        I’m not surprised. My mother is a doctor, and since I was a kid, I’ve been the only one who could read more than a sentence or two of her handwriting. If we ever want to conspire about something, we don’t even need a secret code; she can just hand write all her messages.

      • justhypatia says:

        My doc prints prescriptions out on security paper now for this exact reason.

      • Captain Spock says:

        My doctor prints the prescriptions on a computer, it is awesome!

        • lostalaska says:

          That’s awesome, wish my doctor was from the future where they have that kind of stuff…

      • DoodlestheGreat says:

        Good on your pharmacist. Too many errors, sometimes lethal, have happened because the doc was too lazy to use print. And it’s why using a computer to enter the things directly should be a requirement for all of them.

    • Jawaka says:

      Why does CVS deserve to be sued? What did they do?

      • Coffee says:

        They had a woman arrested without cause. That’s false imprisonment. Because of the arrest, she could not go to work until the charges were dropped, which not only could have resulted in a loss of income, but could also have an effect on her employment (because now she’s “the one who got arrested with the pain medication prescription).

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:

          And how about pain & suffering…literally? Because I’m guessing they didn’t let her have her pain meds while in the slammer.

        • Jawaka says:

          No person can ‘have a woman arrested’ except a law enforcement personnel. I can call the cops right now and claim that my neighbor is smoking crack. It doesn’t mean that the police are going to automatically take my work for it and arrest my neighbor. They’ll come and investigate and make their own determination if a law was broken.

      • RedOryx says:

        Seriously? Who do you think called the cops?

        • Jawaka says:

          What you’re suggesting is that people should never call the police if they feel that a crime is being committed. Again, the cop could have just as easily arrived at the scene and determined that no crime was being committed and let the woman go. He didn’t. I’d have a whole lot less of a problem if this woman decided to sue the police dept for false imprisonment but she’s clearly not after justice, she’s after a paycheck.

          • AustinTXProgrammer says:

            A paycheck she probably desperately needs. CVS and the police caused this lady quite a bit of harm.

            Most police officers are going to respect the judgement of a pharmacist who has seen far more prescriptions than them. She doesn’t need a lottery win but nobody should come away from that crap with nothing.

          • Difdi says:

            There’s a problem with that viewpoint. CVS had the means to check whether the woman was committing fraud or whether the prescription was valid, and chose not to check. Then they called the police because they had no proof the prescription was valid and told the police it was not valid.

            Had CVS acted in good faith and followed procedures they are required BY LAW to follow, they would have known the prescription was valid. They caused considerable harm because they treated those mandatory procedures as optional. Therefore they cannot claim good faith belief that the woman had committed a crime, and therefore they will lose the lawsuit.

      • CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

        They lied to the police to get a women arrested.

        • Jawaka says:

          They lied or they made a mistake? Anyone can call the cops on someone. its up to the cops however to determine whether a crime was committed and they need to take action or not.

          • Coffee says:

            People get sued for making mistakes all the time. If rear-end someone and they get paralyzed, chances are that you made a mistake; you didn’t do it on purpose. However, your negligence and/or ineptitude caused the accident to happen. And you can get sued for that.

            • Jawaka says:

              The act of calling the cop didn’t get this woman arrested. The officer that arrived made the decision to arrest the woman.

              • Saltpork says:

                Yep. The police are liable for arresting the woman without proper evidence that she committed a crime. She didn’t.

                • Papa Midnight says:

                  The problem therein is that the arrest was proper at the time based on the evidence provided by CVS. It’s comparable when police arrest someone for any other crime based on the claims of another, then those claims turn out to have been made falsely (for whatever reason); It circles back to the individual(s) who filed the false police report… which in this case happens to be CVS.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        They made a huge mistake that got a sick woman arrested for no reason. She spent the night in jail. She wasn’t allowed to come back to her job immediately. That’s a pretty big mistake that they need to pay for so it doesn’t happen again.

        Did you even RTFA???

      • Peacock (Now In Extra Crispy) says:

        CVS deserves to be sued because they suck donkey balls.

        CVS deserves to be sued because they routinely violate HIPAA.

        CVS deserves to be sued just ’cause.

        I hate them (in case you couldn’t tell).

      • Difdi says:

        CVS is required to follow proper procedures. They didn’t follow them. Not following them caused CVS to file a provably false police report that caused an innocent woman to be arrested, put on unpaid leave at work, charged, and required to post bond to regain any freedom at all. And she still didn’t get her pain medication, causing her to suffer considerable pain during the ordeal.

        Filing a false police report is defamation; An honest belief in good faith does defeat a defamation suit, but because that honest belief arose from a failure to follow mandatory procedures, the good faith argument goes away.

        • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

          Not only that, but to spend the night in a prison cell with a shattered knee, in likely horrific pain and no pain meds to take.

        • SJActress says:

          Actually, no, that’s not how defamation works. The pharmacy is privileged to “publish” defamatory statements to a third party (the cops) when acting in the public interest (believing she was a criminal).

          However, because they were arguably negligent in utilizing their procedure, she could possibly overcome that privilege. It depends entirely on the level of proof required in her jurisdiction for a defamation claim. If they require actual malice for private figures, she will lose, because they honestly believed what they were reporting (even if that believe was unreasonable).

          Are you a 1L?

  2. Kisses4Katie says:

    What?!! I cannot believe they did this to her!!

    • Plasmafox says:

      War on drugs, terrorism at its finest.

    • imasqre says:

      When I got hooked on benzos (yes, I was an addict, pls feel free to flame) I was denied getting scripts from any pharmacy with my name/account after I surpassed a certain dosage within a certain time-frame. They had put a hold on my insurance but never once called the cops. I was just denied from filling or picking up anything.

      I wonder if it would have been better in the long run if they did lol.. but all is good now, so a day in jail wouldn’t have helped either way it seems.

  3. galm666 says:

    That could not have been fun. I’m betting the DPD is in trouble as well as CVS for this. I don’t know how the CVS / DPD could’ve contacted the wrong doctor considering that the contact info should be ON the prescription itself. If the DEA number didn’t line up, then regular old phone numbers should.

    Sue ‘em. It’ll teach them to dot their Is and cross their Ts before the CVS and DPD lineup someone for an arrest, while probably in need of pain medication.

    • Lyn Torden says:

      They probably also believed she forged that part, too.

    • David in Brasil says:

      My guess is that the pharmacist never contacted anyone to verify her – either because he/she forgot or just thought that this was a sure scam. All the “they contacted a different doctor” bs just doesn’t make sense.

  4. Lyn Torden says:

    “… and we are working to resolve the matter”

    I would say 7 figures would resolve it. 8 figures to add an NDA.

    • dolemite says:

      Yup. I’m sure jail sucks, but jail with a shattered knee and no pain meds? I bet that really really sucks, then the risk to her employment….yeah, someone needs to pay up.

      • Lyn Torden says:

        Goo thing she doesn’t work for Wells Fargo.

      • frankrizzo:You're locked up in here with me. says:

        Don’t forget the IV in her arm. Depending on the medicine, she could have run out while in jail.

    • longfeltwant says:

      I agree, and this story makes me angry, but fairly I would put it at $10,000 damages, $150,000 punitive, +$150,000 if they don’t want to admit fault and want to have an NDA. One false arrest, with one night in jail, even with a little leg pain, shouldn’t net anyone millions.

      • sqlrob says:

        It shouldn’t net her millions.

        It should damn well cost CVS millions though.

        • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

          I wish punitive damages could go towards law enforcement. (Or the administrative costs of the judiciary, but that might be considered a conflict of interest.)

          • Bibliovore says:

            Punitive damages going toward law enforcement could be a conflict of interest, too — it was the police who put her in jail for the night. Wrongly arresting someone should not be a way to get more money for your department.

          • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

            Yeah? Like to the police officer who arrested this woman because the pharmacist is a good ol’ boy?

            I just read the article and they don’t touch on what made the pharmacist suspicious – does anyone know?

        • iesika says:

          It probably wouldn’t net her millions. It might gross her millions, though.

      • AtlantaCPA says:

        Just to play devil’s advocate – this could affect her earnings for the rest of her life. Her employer might have layoffs one day and put her on the list, either directly or indirectly b/c of ‘that time she got arrested.’ In this job market she might not ever get the same level of job back. Or it will just leave a bad taste in their mouth(s) and she won’t get as good of a raise (which will carry forward for a long time, potentially the rest of her working life). In this job market she might be afraid to leave her employer and the reduced salary could follow her the rest of her career.

        Or it could have minimal impact on her earnings, it’s too early to tell. If it’s the former then she might actually be entitled to a lot of money depending on her job and what happens. Now if she does get a bad raise or get laid off good luck proving it was because of a bias from this false arrest, which is partly why she would argue for a big payout from this incident just in case.

        My point is just that sometimes payouts in the millions are actually justified, though probably not as often as those judgements actually happen.

        • DarkPsion says:

          Just being arrested can come back to hurt her. At my work we use Federal inmates on a work program. One of the requirements is that they can not have any weapon charges, not convictions, just charges.

          I lost one hard worker because they discovered he had once been arrested for possession of a weapon. He was never formally charged, prosecuted or convicted, but the fact he had been arrested was on his record and used against him.

      • CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

        Yes it should because then other companies and employee will think twice about lying to the police to get someone arrested.
        If it were like $10K then no one would care about paying that.

      • oldwiz65 says:

        Cops care little about the people they arrest anyway.

      • amuro98 says:

        Problem is, lawsuits are expensive: discovery, meetings, etc. etc. And at $200-500/hr, it’s not hard to see even a “quick” case costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

        Which is why most lawyers won’t even agree to take on a lawsuit that’s for less than a million dollars. First, it means most of the money will end up going to them for their fee, and second, most companies don’t even think you’re serious unless you go at least that high.

        Based on the article, she could easily sue CVS and the police department for $10mil, settle out of court for about half that, and the lawyer still makes a couple hundred grand.

  5. winstonthorne says:

    Nobody likes a tattletale, Mr. Nosey Pharmacist.

    I hate people who have no lives and stick their noses in other people’s business.

    • Coffee says:

      Not to defend his actions in this incident, but pharmacists can get in trouble for knowingly filling falsified prescriptions, especially when things that require forms in triplicate – like painkillers – are involved.

      • Velvet Jones says:

        Yes, “knowingly” is the key word. Apparently this pharmacist did not know and that is the point. Either he was lazy and just thought he could spot a fake, or he was incompetent and couldn’t follow procedures. Either way he should be fired and have his license suspended. I would also charge him with filing a false police report. On a side note, if something like this happened to me, four of my friends would be waiting outside this guys house when he went home some night. I’m sure a good ass kicking would do him a world of good.

      • Cordtx says:

        Norco is a regular prescription, not a triplicate one ( its just like a strong vicodin but not as strong as Oxycontin)

    • Marlin says:

      Its their job to check, but its also their job to check correctly.

  6. incident man stole my avatar says:

    Spent many years working in a independent pharmacy and once got a script for “Volumes” 5mg #100. Told the customer we had to order it and he never came back

  7. Cat says:

    This story should have ended as soon as the officer saw “I was on crutches and I had a permanent IV line in my arm. I had a big leg brace… “. But that would require common sense.

    • longfeltwant says:

      Correct. Police work requires judgement, and obviously this officer has none. This is strike one; strike two should be a firing (but it won’t be).

    • homehome says:

      So hurt ppl don’t forge scripts? Actually they are the more than likely ones to do this. But they definitely should’ve verified before they called the cops or at least someone made a mistake.

      • OutPastPluto says:

        Perhaps they should have given the cripple the benefit of the doubt and waited until there was actual probable cause (versus mere suspicion) before arresting her. Dallas is great for these kinds of nonsense “zero tolerance” approaches.

        All it does is waste money.

    • Mr. Spy says:

      But he knew the pharmicist! And he’s never been wrong before.
      I mean, for crying out loud. How do these people become police officers.

  8. Important Business Man (Formerly Will Print T-shirts For Food) says:

    Money money money
    Now the skies are sunny
    Ain’t got no mo’ worries
    CAUSE WE’RE IN THE MONEY!

  9. Bsamm09 says:

    Went to jail, no pain meds, possible loss of employment — Sue the hell out of all involved.

  10. ycnhgm says:

    If she indeed just had a shattered knee cap there is no need for “hard” pain killers and an IV line in her arm. I just recovered from such thing and it wasn’t near as painful as this story seems to make it sound. The physical therapy is by far more painful than the time I spent in a knee brace.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Who part suggested it was JUST a shattered kneecap?

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        To clarify, the article states she got treatment without anesthesia in a hospital outside the U.S. in a country considered 3rd world, not to mention it took 3 1/2 hours just to receive care. That’s bound to be painful and cause complications.

        • sagodjur says:

          No, no, no. You’re completely wrong. I’m quite certain ycnhgm is capable of diagnosing AND determining the correct treatment for patients via 2nd hand information in a news story!

          • ycnhgm says:

            Funny that a simple comment as mine was perceived as an attack on somebody. Never mind. Looks like I should have clicked through to get the entire story instead.

            • hmburgers says:

              Just like the officer…

            • capnike says:

              AHem, it’s more than a perception! You flatly stated that she didn’t need this level of painkiller, because of your personal experience.

            • capnike says:

              AHem, it’s more than a perception! You flatly stated that she didn’t need this level of painkiller, because of your personal experience.

        • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

          I disagree strongly, Haiti is a 4th world country.

    • mackjaz says:

      Thank you, Doctor!

    • Lyn Torden says:

      Pain varies from case to case.

    • dpeters11 says:

      Did you also have a three and a half hour car ride to the hospital after having to climb out of the area where it happened, then get to Port-Au-Prince and have reconstructive surgery without general anesthetic?

      • c_c says:

        Pssh, ycnhgm clearly performed their own reconstructive knee surgery without anesthetic in a third world country. Then ran the Boston Marathon the next week. Ain’t no thang.

    • daynight says:

      That she had the IV indicates that something was more than ‘just’ a shattered kneecap. The IV is an indisputable fact. It was observable. There are complications here. So why are you ignoring that when you rush to give your professional medial opinion?

    • Mamudoon says:

      When did Norco become a “hard” painkiller?

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      She’s sneaky. Busted her own leg, inserted an IV herself, and faked a prescription. Kudos to the cop for being on the ball with this miscreant.

    • j2.718ff says:

      yes, and all cases of shattered knee caps are 100% identical, with no variation.

    • weedpindle says:

      Yes, I had a shattered kneecap, one week in the hospital, then 3 weeks in a cast, 10 weeks off work, yeah, no big deal at all. hardly any pain at all, well just a little, wait, a hell of a lot of pain..

      • dolemite says:

        I knew a guy that shattered his knee in a Rugby game. He was just about delirious by the time we got the the hospital.

    • Saltpork says:

      You don’t know the specifics of this lady’s case. No one should but her healthcare provider. If they determine that she needs an IV or a brace or painkillers, that’s their decision. We have no part in it.

      What might be right for you may not be right for some.

    • flip says:

      aww…how tough of you to handle the pain. Unfortunately not everyone is as narrow minded as you are.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      Must be nice to feel no pain. My shattered kneecap was nearly unbearable.

  11. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    How can a refill be fraud by the consumer? The refill allowance is on the original prescription order. Then the pharmacy calls the doctor in question to confirm. Seems like the consumer is completely out of the loop on re-fills. The blame couldn’t be on them.

    • thomwithanh says:

      You need a new written prescription for each refill. Federal law.

      • SerenityDan says:

        Since when? I’ve never needed more than my doctor marking how many refills on the first script. I was on narcotics for months while going through chemo and this was not that long ago.

        • Sound Money Girl says:

          Refills don’t require a new prescription, but you need a new written prescription if the original expires or the refill allotment runs out. Phone calls and faxes won’t be accepted. Found that one out the hard way when my husband’s discharging physician at the hospital wrote an MS Contin (morphine) prescription in a dosage that doesn’t exist. I had to drive 45 minutes back to the hospital to get a new written prescription from his surgeon.

          I will also say that my CVS knew me quite well after all the time I spent picking up my husband’s medications. Not once was I questioned, even though I was picking up 3-4 heavy duty painkillers at a time and frequently bringing in new prescriptions from different doctors (although they were all either from the hospital’s in-patient service or the surgeon’s practice)

      • KrispyKrink says:

        no you don’t. An Rx has a refill amount line to by filled in by the prescribing Doctor when they write the original Rx. Last time I had surgery my doctor wrote in a refill amount of 2 for my Vicodin, after you run out on the first fill you just call in and they refill it. Or like my pharmacy, they auto-refill 2 days before my last pill.

        • Southern says:

          He’s right, I just looked it up. It depends on what TYPE of prescription it is, though.

          The refilling of a prescription for a controlled substance listed in Schedule II is prohibited, but substances in Schedules III, IV, and V may be refilled if so authorized on the prescription or by call-in.

          http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubs/manuals/pract/section5.htm

          So I guess it would depend on if the substance. Considering that the article states this was a refill though, it must not be a Class II.

      • The_Legend says:

        Since when? I refill mine online at WAGS no problem. Tells me how many I have left.

      • frankrizzo:You're locked up in here with me. says:

        Not for Norco. (Hydrocodone) Oxycontin, Percocet (Oxycodone) you need a new prescription each time.

    • Nighthawke says:

      Schedule II medications (drugshigh risk of addiction and.or abuse) REQUIRE a hand-written prescription note each time a refill is done. The pharmacist is required to call back to the doctor and confirm the script before it is filled. There are stringent rules laid out by the Controlled Substances Act that must be followed each time these types are filled out. Someone goofed and put the poor girl in jail as a result. Now everyone is going to be paying a lawyer to find out who’s going to be paying who over this.

  12. southpaw1971 says:

    I came by to read the comments, because this may be the first time they don’t blame the victim! She should sue, and I hope she gets a bundle. Poor woman.

    • JJFIII says:

      Ok, I will give it a try. Damn OP should not have busted her knee. It’s all her fault. Whew, I get worried when there isnt at least one blame the OP post

    • sagodjur says:

      If she had just paid off her credit cards every month like I do and weren’t having so much sex that she can’t afford her birth control but expects taxpayers and her religious employers to pay for it, she might not have been arrested for a seemingly unrelated alleged crime after a seemingly unrelated medical emergency!

      (Am I doing it right?)

    • Jawaka says:

      I don’t blame the victim but I don’t blame the CVS as well. They felt that something was suspicious and called the police. The police dept was the one that detained and ultimately arrested her.

      • theblackdog says:

        If the pharmacist at that CVS failed to call the correct doctor, then yes, they are at fault.

  13. longfeltwant says:

    “The police eventually dropped the charges but that’s not stopping the woman for suing CVS for False Imprisonment and Defamation.”

    Nailed it. The suit is valid, and they should pay. Do your job and check the prescription before having her detained or arrested, or else pay when you get sued. The arresting officer should also be reprimanded for arresting someone without cause, and if he ever does it again (or has done it before) he should be fired.

    • SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

      check your refill

      ftfy.

      • dwtomek says:

        Your “FTFY” was akin to blowing up somebody’s Mercedes with TNT, handing them a pencil and proudly letting them know their Mercedes is fixed. All of that ignoring the fact that the Mercedes was not broken in the first place. Impressive in scope, although not so much in usefulness.

  14. Dre' says:

    Welcome to the police state. You voted for it, you got it.

  15. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    Well, it’s a good thing government is so poised to throw people in jail and then say, “my bad” once it’s proven as nothing. There needs to be consequences for our government and/or other entities depriving us of our liberties at their whim.

    Sue them into non-existence, lady.

    • damicatz says:

      Governments will never allow themselves to have consequences. That is the evil of government, that those who make the laws design them so that they don’t have to follow them.

  16. Southern says:

    Congratulations! You’re soon going to own your own CVS Store.

  17. KrispyKrink says:

    She needs sue the individual officer as well. He made his arrest not on fact based evidence but on a personal relaisionship with the employee at CVS.

    • KrispyKrink says:

      Relationship. Damned tiny keyboards.

    • Velvet Jones says:

      Yes, I think the pharmacist needs to be fired, but this cop is just a guilty. Didn he skip class the day they taught investigation techniques at the Academy? Simply taking the pharmacist’s word for it simply “because he is always right” doesn’t sound like standard police procedure.

      • KrispyKrink says:

        My reasoning for punishment for this officer is because I was a cop. When we investigated forged prescriptions it is policy for the investigating officer to verify with the prescribing doctor in person, phone if they’re not local, we don’t just leave it up to the pharmacist. It’s just piss poor police work on this officer.

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          I was wondering about that. I thought there might have to be some cross check there. Seems the officer dropped the ball.

    • stevenpdx says:

      Police are legally immune from false-arrest suits.

      • KrispyKrink says:

        Mostly. But there is wiggle room, I’ve seen it. There’s also civil suits which could be the way to go with this officer basing his actions on a personal relationship.

      • Velifer says:

        And citizens can use any force deemed necessary to avoid an unlawful arrest, just like any other assault and kidnapping.

  18. Traveller says:

    Next time ask for Medical Marijuana, then just pick some up from the corner dealer. A lot simpler.

    The fact that you can get Pot legally with less checking is ridiculous. Got a medical need great, get it from a pharmacist just like all other medications.

  19. FarkonGnome says:

    “A CVS rep tells a CBS reporter, “We are investigating how this unfortunate incident occurred and we are working to resolve the matter.””

    Legalese for “we’re going to throw a bunch of money her way to make this go away.”

  20. waffle iron says:

    I’m glad my doctor submits all his prescriptions electronically.

    • KrispyKrink says:

      mine likes to call it in then type it up and fax it. Then files a hard copy in my records.

    • j2.718ff says:

      I recently had a prescription for a narcotic. When I asked my doctor why she didn’t send it electronically, she said that prescriptions for narcotics had to be done on paper, with a physical signature. (And then I was mildly amused, when the first thing the pharmacist did with my prescription was to put it in his scanner.)

  21. Jawaka says:

    So why is she suing CVS and not the police Dept? It doesn’t seem that CVS detained her, the cop did. Oh that’s right, CVS is a corporation and there’s more money to extort from them.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      CVS called the cops on her, they were waiting there when she arrived to pick up her Rx. In effect CVS actively manipulated the situation so that she would be arrested because they didn’t check the Rx properly. She absolutely should sue them, police as well for not making sure the arrest was needed.

    • KrispyKrink says:

      Because CVS was the one actually pressing charges. They told the officer that it was fact that this lady forged her Rx. The officer arrested her at the behest of CVS based on their findings, which turned out to actually be false and misleading. See my post above, had the officer actually done his job and made his own investigation, none of this would have happened.

    • Suburban Idiot says:

      There’s no way a court would allow the police officer’s qualified immunity be pierced based on their actions in this case. A complaint was made. They acted on the complaint. The complaint turned out to be bogus, but the police were not required to take the extra step of verifying the claims (even though it would have been nice) before making an arrest. There’s no reason to believe that they knew, when making the arrest, that they were doing something illegal (especially if the person at CVS told them they called the doctor and verified that the prescription was forged).

      So while we can say that the police should have done more to make sure the arrest was appropriate, that’s a long way away from proving that they knew they were violating the established law by arresting her. And given qualified immunity, suing the police would likely just be wasting time, money and effort.

  22. Mamudoon says:

    Read about this story the same day I got a Vicodin script filled and felt like I dodged a bullet. I’m glad that the pharmacists at my CVS are cool and actually fill prescriptions and call the doctors with questions instead of the cops.

    The pharmacist and the police officer involved need to be fired and sued out of existence.

  23. balderdashed says:

    I’m not sure how this woman can sue CVS for False Imprisonment. Did the pharmacy imprison or detain her? It appears that the pharmacist suspected her of a crime, and notified law enforcement. That’s what we want pharmacists to do — in fact, a pharmacist is legally required to make such a report, and can face legal consequences for knowingly dispensing a prescription that was not authorized. A Dallas police officer made the decision to detain her. If I had suspected her (or someone else) of committing a crime and called the cops, and the cop then made a bad arrest, could I be sued for false imprisonment? I think not — and the pharmacist can make the additional argument that such reports are a legal requirement. Obviously, a pharmacist or anybody else who suspects fraud and reports it is not going to be right 100% of the time.

    • theblackdog says:

      If the pharmacist questioned the scrip, he could have made a phone call to that doctor to verify that the scrip was legit. If it wasn’t then he can call the police and make a report because he has evidence rather than just say “oh *I* think this looks suspicious, let me call the police right now.”

  24. mikeMD says:

    This is clearly a case of good intentions, horrible execution. Pharmacists follow up on questionable prescriptions as part of their job all the time and this check went sideways. Having a leg brace and crutches is an interesting side note but should not have any affect on the process. Nor should having a central line (the “pernament” IV) which would likely not be visble under a shirt anyway.

    This is one of the main reasons we’re moving to electronic prescribing as well. I am in no position to criticize anyone’s penmanship.

  25. dwtomek says:

    On the bright side, at least the record of her being arrested on false charges will only be on her record forever.

  26. jayphat says:

    Please don’t be CVS, please don’t be CVS……..DAMMIT!

  27. CrazyEyed says:

    Real question is, if she were an 79 year old feeble, senior citizen, would they have treated her the same way or just assume there was a mix up? Man, the way people jump to conclusions shows how much people lack any diligence these days.

    • frodolives35 says:

      They arrested a 70 something year old women here in tn a few years ago for buying 1 box to many of cold medicine. (meth law) STUPID

  28. history_theatrestudent says:

    While it sucks what happen to this woman I’m not seeing false imprisonment or defamation. CVS didn’t falsely imprison her, a police officer escorted her out of the building for questioning which at the time there was probable cause. As far as defamation, the pharmacy suspected something they called the police not the press. I’d suspect the media only heard about this after the woman or her lawyer, or a friend/family member contacted them.

    It sucks that this happen to her but it seems nothing better than revenge for an honest mistake.

    • Auron says:

      The pharmacist made sure the police were there to arrest her when she came in to get her prescription. The pharmacist didn’t contact the prescribing doctor to verify the prescription. The police officer arrested the woman based on his relationship with the pharmacist. The police officer didn’t call the prescribing doctor to verify. This arrest is now on her record, unless she takes the needed legal steps to have it expunged. Neither the pharmacist or the police officer did their due diligence as far as an investigation went. So until or unless she has this FALSE ARREST

  29. moonunitrappa says:

    F CVS. I’m done with them.

  30. TravelWithDignity says:

    Yet another Police department and pharmacy that need to feel the sting of a few million in putative damages so they will get it beat into their brains to do some due diligence on the investigation first.

    Behind every stupid arrest like this is either 1) Clueless command staff that want to crack down on X, where X is the “problem of the month” defined by an equally clueless mayor, or 2) officer on a power trip overstepping both his/her knowledge or authority.

  31. backinpgh says:

    Something similar (excluding the arrest, thank goodness) happened to my husband. He had a new rx for Xanax and had run out of pills from the last script and forgotten to pick it up until he was already out (of course…boys!) We went to one CVS and they said they were out of Xanax. Okay, there are a zillion CVS stores nearby, just let us know which one has it in stock so we can get it elsewhere. Oh, we cant do that. Okay, can I call the stores to see who has it in stock? They won’t tell you. It’s a controlled substance, they aren’t allowed to say. So even though he had a prescription we had to drive around to each CVS himself to see who had it in stock (apparently there was a run on Xanax that weekend, we didn’t find any till the 4th store we went to). When we finally found one with it in stock, the pharmacist said I won’t fill this prescription, it’s been altered. Apparently, the doctor’s loopy script had gotten into the “refills” section. It said 3 refills, but to the pharmacist it looked like it said 0 refills. I said, whether it says 0 or 3 refills, he clearly wrote the prescription for at least ONE bottle of pills, correct? He said he didn’t care, he has to call the doctor to verify it, which of course he couldn’t do until Monday. I was totally outraged over this, it was so ridiculous. I wrote to CVS and didn’t hear a thing back about it.

    • dolemite says:

      Hilarious. Not only is healthcare quickly becoming too expensive for most Americans to afford, but even if you CAN afford it, the government’s red tape prevents you from accessing care legally, due to a few meth heads or what have you.

    • Bsamm09 says:

      Is that a state law because I have to get a controlled substance in the same class and always call to see which pharmacy has it in stock. (there was a recent shortage) Everyone told me if they could fill my script and how much it cost.

  32. oldwiz65 says:

    Cops are far more interested in arresting people than in helping them. Why didn’t the police simply contact her doctor? It’s much more fun to arrest a disabled woman than to actually help her. The police are there to arrest criminals, NOT to help people.

  33. Sad Sam says:

    Not surprising that legitimate pain patients are going to get caught up in the crackdown on prescription abuse.

    I would say that CVS gets sued for undertaking a duty they probably didn’t have, to make sure the script was legit, and then they failed at that duty. This is the problem when you take a policy too far. Plus CVS has the money.

    Police get sued for doing little to no investigation, that big brace and IV should have been a clue.

  34. Yorick says:

    This is a REFILL of her prescription, if there was a problem why didn’t they complain the first time?
    And what’s with the police not being able to figure out that someone in pain and on crutches with an IV might have a legitimate need for a pain prescription?

  35. daemonaquila says:

    Once again… Don’t shop at CVS. From “nonterminable” calls to undesired refills to flack about not using their rewards cards to not having a lot of drugs in stock to snitch pharmacists, why EVER use them? We have one 2 blocks from a Walgreens – guess which one is always busy, and which is empty?

  36. Suburban Idiot says:

    According to DPD police dispatch records, seven people were robbed in the city while this officer was arresting this woman for not doing anything wrong.

    • oldwiz65 says:

      Arresting a woman who is in poor health and in pain is a great deal easier than trying to catch robbers.

  37. Bill610 says:

    CVS has an interesting history with drug policing. Several years ago, they got in trouble for making it too easy to buy Sudafed: http://www.scpr.org/news/2010/10/15/20184/cvs-meth-settlement/ .

    Not too long ago, another woman was arrested for buying Sudafed across state lines, thanks to a helpful tip from a CVS employee: http://www.republicmagazine.com/news/police-state-alabama-mississippi-grandmother-diane-avera-faces-prison-for-sudafed-purchase.html

    It makes you wonder if, at best, they’re trying to do penance for letting so much pseudoephedrine get in the hands of meth tweakers, or, at worst, someone has hinted to them that they might have to “play ball” with the drug cops or else.* Either way, I don’t plan on giving them my business any more.

    *if this sounds like I’m accusing CVS on the basis of insufficient evidence, well, how does it feel, CVS?

  38. Coffee Fiend says:

    I hope she sues CVS for…..

    Ten Million! Ten Million! Ten Million Dollars!

  39. Nobby says:

    Damn! Upon reading the first few paragraphs and before seeing the photo, I assumed she was just Black or something. Wow.

  40. mydailydrunk says:

    Didn’t realize making a phone call to a doctor was prohibitively expensive.

    Good policework there, Barney.

  41. madtube says:

    To hell with CVS. I had spine surgery not too long ago. Because I was in loads of pain before the surgery, I had built up a tolerance to the powerful opiates. When I was released from the hospital, I was sent home with 2 prescriptions for painkillers. One was my daily maintenance painkiller; the other was for severe breakthrough pain They were OxyContin and Dilaudid, respectively. I was in the pharmacy with a post surgical back brace and a walker. The pharmacist said she could not fill both of them because of “overlapping treatment”. I had figured that ahead of time so I asked my neurosurgeon to call and explain that I was not opiate-naive and that this was the pain regimen used in the hospital. And the Dilaudid was only for a couple of days anyways. After speaking with 2 doctors, she reluctantly filled it.

    Fast forward a few months later. I was making improvements in my recovery and wanted off the OxyContin voluntarily. I met with a pain specialist and he prescribed 2 meds: a transdermal patch use to stave off opiate withdrawal and a small supply of Percocet to handle breakthrough pain as well as to step down without going cold turkey. The same female pharmacist refused to fill the Percocet because of overlapping treatment again. I explained that I was voluntarily stopping the Oxycontin that I had been pumped on for 18 months. The doctor did not want to stop suddenly and that med combo is what is used with good results. My doctor and pharmacist went back and forth until I got a call from the doctor’s office saying everything had been handled. Alas when I went to go pick it up, she still would not give me the Percocet. The doctor gave me a new paper script to replace the other with clear instructions on it to fill the script or give me back the paper script. When I go back in for the fifth time now, she said she would not fill it and that she destroyed the paper script. When confronted with a copy that showed the clear instructions, she stated that she shredded it. I told her to provide proof of the shredded script or I will call the DEA for possible theft of a Schedule II narcotic. She refused, stating she did not have to prove anything. So I called the DEA and transferred all my meds out of CVS. When I went back a couple of weeks later to pick up my last script before the transfer went through, I was informed she did not work there anymore. It made me wonder if she was taking the scripts and filling them herself. But I probably will never know. Screw CVS. I went to Rite-Aid and have been treated awesome ever since.

    BTW, opiate cessation after the time and strength I was on is one of the worst things ever. But that patch, a determined attitude, and loving support from my wife caused me to go from heavy opiate dosage to nothing in less than 2 weeks. It sucks. But if you have the want to get clear of those drugs, it does not suck as much.

  42. superdrew says:

    I doubt this will be read 150 comments in but…

    The police can not be sued for false arrest under most circumstances. They have immunity. In order to win a false arrest suit against a police dept you have to show that they intentionally out of malice. For example, you get arrested by an officer for something because you, say, slept with the cops wife and he was getting back at you.

    They have this immunity because sometimes innocent people do get arrested. Imagine if every time a person was found not guilty was able to sue the police for false imprisonment. The police would be paralyised with fear of getting sued. They would not be able to do thier job. On a related note, a buddy of mine had his door panel ripped out by the police because a drug dog alerted there on his car and wanted to be reimbursed for repairs. No drugs were found. The police told him they didn’t have to pay because they had probable cause. The cops told him to take it up with his insurance company.

    I don’t know if CVS can be sued for false imprisonment either, as CVS was not the ones who detained her. She walked in to the store and was questioned by police and the police are the ones who prevented her from leaving. CVS at no point prevented her from leaving their store, it was the police who did so.

    CVS only provided the evidence to the police, they did not arrest her. The officer made the decision to arrest her. While I am not 100% on the following point…I don’t believe you can sue a person for giving the authorities incorrect evidence, unless they knowingly provided false evidence/testimony. If CVS/pharmasist thought they were honestly helping prevent a crime then I fail to see how they could be sued.

    But, I’m no lawyer.

    I’m not saying that CVS should not compensate her in someway (it seems only fair and to avoid bad publicity) I’m just saying I don’t believe they HAVE to.

  43. Zydia says:

    I think this happened because she tried to get her prescription filled in Oak Cliff. That is automatically one strike against you in the eyes of the DPD.

  44. shulkman says:

    CVS didn’t do their due diligence. I’m sure they’re only one step up from the catastrophe that is Wal-mart Pharmacy. (Untrained, inefficient, inaccurate, flat out scary)

    Now, as to how it might have happened, I’m guessing it was a hospital Rx, which will rarely have a Doctor’s Name on it. However, it will have the nasty scrawled signature which anyone working in pharmacy will learn to identify. And it will have that DEA number, probably also written in by the Doctor.

  45. Chip Skylark of Space says:

    God I hate CVS for their incompetence.