Posted: July 15, 2012

 Charlene Whalen’s doctor prescribed methadone to help her deal with chronic back pain. But the dosage, according to testimony in a trial three years later, was too high. In the middle of the night, the 49-year-old Maine woman stopped breathing in her sleep and suffered brain damage resulting from oxygen deprivation. Defense attorneys argued that the dosage prescribed by her doctor was within “an appropriate range” and that neither the pharmacist nor the pharmacy’s computer system raised any alarms. But Whalen’s attorney provided expert opinions that the prescription was eight times the recommended dosage. The Bangor Daily News noted that a nine-member jury took a less than two hours to unanimously decide the case, awarding Whalen $1.9 million in damages. Get more information about medication error lawsuits.