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Nursing Center cannot sue negligent pharmaceutical provider after prescription error results in loss of valuable Medicaid program certification.

Woodward Nursing Center, Inc. sued Medical Arts, Inc. after it lost an important Medicaid certification.  Woodward argued that it lost the certification--and a significant source of profit--because Medical Arts negligently failed to fulfill a contract to provide pharmaceuticals on a timely basis.  Woodward claimed that it timely re-ordered the pharmaceuticals, but that Medical Arts lost the order for twelve days and then fabricated an excuse to blame Woodward for the order's "illegibility."  The Defendants argued that the claim sounded in medical malpractice and was not preceded by a Notice of Intent or accompanied by an Affidavit of Merit.  On this basis the trial court dismissed Woodward's claim. The Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal on the latter basis and also because the contract element of the action was not accompanied by a copy of the parties' contract.

The Plaintiff then sought to file a new action with proper procedural elements.  The Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of the new action because the prior action had been dismissed "with prejudice" (making the dismissal a final order precluding further actions).  So, a pharmacy clerk loses an order for twelve days and causes havoc in a nursing home, but the pharmacy isn't held accountable because of technical defects in the Complaint brought against it--without an opportunity to correct the procedural flaws associated with calling the error "malpractice."  This is modern justice in Michigan.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Fax: 231-929-7262