Woman Arrested Over Pain Relief Prescription
Tacoma woman sues drug chain over arrest
The Associated Press
A Tacoma woman with an incurable brain tumor has sued Walgreen Co., saying that when she arrived to pick up her painkiller prescription one day, a pharmacist had her arrested.
In a lawsuit filed Thursday in Pierce County Superior Court, Shannon O'Brien, 35, said she went to the drive-up window at a Walgreen Drug Store two blocks from her home in Tacoma's north end last July 7. The pharmacist on duty thought she had faked her Percocet prescription and called police, the lawsuit stated.
"I was in hysterics, crying, very upset and very embarrassed," O'Brien said Thursday. "They could have checked my records. I've had the same medicine every month."
A woman who answered the phone at the pharmacy Thursday directed inquiries to Walgreen's regional office in Bellevue, where a telephone message was not immediately returned.
A spokeswoman based at Walgreen headquarters in Deerfield, Ill., said yesterday she could not comment on pending litigation.
According to the lawsuit, when the pharmacist called the University of Washington Medical Center's neurosurgery department to ask about it, he was told that O'Brien's doctor, Alexander Spence, was unavailable, so the prescription couldn't be confirmed right away.
That's when the pharmacist called Tacoma police, the lawsuit said. O'Brien was still sitting in her car at the drive-up window when they arrived.
O'Brien's family posted bail that night, but she was still without her medicine. She was arraigned the next day; as a condition of her release, she was required to attend a session at a drug-treatment facility.
Her lawyer eventually succeeded in getting the felony prescription-fraud charge dropped after her doctor provided confirming information to the Pierce County prosecutor's office.