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Eckerd Drugs Agrees to Pay $6 Million for Prescription Error

May 7, 1992

DALLAS (AP) _ Jack Eckerd Corp. has agreed to pay $6 million to a woman who suffered permanent brain damage after being given the wrong medicine, a lawyer for her family said.

Deatrice Manning, 59, went into a three-week coma last year after taking diabetes medicine given her by a pharmacist for Eckerd Drugs, a lawsuit filed by her relatives in state district court alleged. Her doctor had prescribed painkillers, the lawsuit said.

″We certainly regret this unfortunate incident,″ said Mike Zagorac, a spokesman for Eckerd Drugs. ″But we believe it has been satisfactorily resolved for both our customer and ourselves. That’s all the information I can give you.″

Lawyers for Ms. Manning’s family called the issue one of public trust.

″The public depends on drugstores to provide quality service, to do their job. That doesn’t always happen,″ attorney S. Craig Smith said after the settlement was announced Wednesday.

The prescription was filled Feb. 2, 1991, at an Eckerd pharmacy in Fort Worth, the suit said. Instead of receiving Darvocet, the suit said, Ms. Manning was given Diabinese, given diabetics to lower their blood-sugar.

After following the directions on the bottle for two days, Ms. Manning went into a coma, the suit said.

Ms. Manning now lives in a nursing home. Doctors have said she has the mental capacity of a 3-year-old.

Eckerd, based in Clearwater, Fla., has more than 1,600 stores, the company said, and fills about 72 million prescriptions a year.

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