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Palm Beach woman sues Walgreens over insulting comments on prescription
South Florida Sun-Sentinel ^ | March 8 2006 | Missy Stoddard

Posted on 03/08/2006 2:30:35 PM PST by indcons

For years, Janey Karp has battled depression and anxiety with the help of prescription drugs. Though millions of Americans do the same, Karp admits she is intensely private and can't help but feel stigmatized for needing medication to feel normal.

So when the 53-year-old Palm Beach resident read the Walgreens printout attached to her prescription last week for the sleep aid Ambien, she couldn't believe her eyes. Typed in a field reserved for patient information and dated March 17, 2005, was "CrAzY!!" In another field, dated Sept. 30, 2004, it read: "She's really a psycho!!! Do not say her name too loud, never mention her meds by names & try to talk to her when ... " The information continued onto another page but was not attached.

"I was devastated, humiliated and embarrassed," Karp said. "I honestly couldn't speak. I was trembling."

Karp filed suit Tuesday against Illinois-based Walgreen Co., accusing the nationwide retail chain of defamation, negligent supervision and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Walgreens is investigating, according to company spokeswoman Carol Hively, who said that computers are accessible to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

(Excerpt) Read more at sun-sentinel.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: blamingthevictim; floriduh; hipaa; imjustcrazy; lawsuit; pharmacy; prescriptions; walgreen; walgreens
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If I am not wrong, disclosure of patient info/records is forbidden under HIPAA. Walgreens may get into real trouble for this incident.
1 posted on 03/08/2006 2:30:37 PM PST by indcons
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To: indcons

..but, at the same time, her comments and actions in this situation seems to confirm the comments..


2 posted on 03/08/2006 2:32:42 PM PST by mnehring (http://abaraxas.blogspot.com/.)
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To: indcons

Sticks and stones ...


3 posted on 03/08/2006 2:33:28 PM PST by SengirV
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To: mnehrling

Absolutely. And she is a typical lib too.


4 posted on 03/08/2006 2:34:32 PM PST by HarmlessLovableFuzzball
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To: indcons

Ooopsie!

I'm sure you are correct. I think Walgreen's is in trouble on this one.


5 posted on 03/08/2006 2:34:49 PM PST by Theresawithanh (Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.)
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To: indcons

She sounds like 80% of the women in Palm Beach County. Probably one of my mom's (who is a mental health counselor) clients.


6 posted on 03/08/2006 2:35:04 PM PST by Clemenza (Dick Cheney is a big middle finger to the "other directed" Sheeple. My kind of guy!)
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To: indcons

An apology would be sufficient. Why should she get any money for this? Sheesh.
susie


7 posted on 03/08/2006 2:35:14 PM PST by brytlea (I'm not a conspiracy theorist....really.)
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To: indcons
If I am not wrong, disclosure of patient info/records is forbidden under HIPAA. Walgreens may get into real trouble for this incident.

Hollering her name and medications all over the store is bad enough, but it just got a whole lot more public with the lawsuit and this article in the paper.

8 posted on 03/08/2006 2:35:53 PM PST by Riley ("What color is the boathouse at Hereford?")
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To: indcons

I'm normally on the side agaist lawsuits, but this one is so deserved. This is horrible. If it was an inside joke that somehow got printed, they need to tighten up the ship. Of course, we all say and do things behind a person's back, but this is really humiliating to have it right in front of her in print. Wallgreen's is in deep doo-doo on this one.


9 posted on 03/08/2006 2:36:17 PM PST by GOP_Proud (Jack Bauer wears Dick Cheney jammies.)
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To: indcons

10 posted on 03/08/2006 2:36:33 PM PST by stm (It's possible to fix most things, but you can't fix stupid)
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To: indcons

Walgreens can take the position that they were trying to protect their employees from being attacked or worse by a prescipted-medicated "customer" [read:moonbat].


11 posted on 03/08/2006 2:36:36 PM PST by DCPatriot ("It aint what you don't know that kills you. It's what you know that aint so" Theodore Sturgeon)
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To: indcons
This woman is like the muslims that prove whatever negative thing is said about them.
12 posted on 03/08/2006 2:36:45 PM PST by CzarNicky (The problem with bad ideas is that they seemed like good ideas at the time.)
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To: mnehrling

"your honor, its not liable. she REALLY IS CRAZY AND PSYCHO!"


13 posted on 03/08/2006 2:36:49 PM PST by dman4384
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To: indcons

As my man Bocephus sang in Mr Lincoln:

"Cause everybody sues over any little thing these days"


14 posted on 03/08/2006 2:37:00 PM PST by Thirteen_bravo
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To: indcons

oh boy, are they in trouble ... not only Walgreens but the employees themselves, if they can be identified. I believe the fine for disclosing information is $10,000 per incident.


15 posted on 03/08/2006 2:37:02 PM PST by f150driver
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To: indcons
"CrAzY!!"

LOL! This just struck me as funny.

16 posted on 03/08/2006 2:37:56 PM PST by SIDENET (If those lame Imams can issue fatwas, then so can I)
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To: indcons

These were actually comments generated by the pharmacy in some capcity so they didn't break any hippa rules. She and the pharmacy workers are the only ones who saw it.


17 posted on 03/08/2006 2:38:10 PM PST by auntyfemenist (Card carrying conservative, William F. Buckley fan.)
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To: indcons

Whoever entered that information into her records should be severely disciplined, or fired. Walgreens should apologize to the lady, and that's that.


18 posted on 03/08/2006 2:38:18 PM PST by andyk (Go Matt Kenseth!)
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To: indcons

How can disclosure of patient info to the patient be a violation under HIPAA?

Now if they gave her info to ME or you.

But as the patient, she is entitled to those records.

It boils down to this: She is offended that someone else thinks this of her and now she wants them to pay.

(It is unprofessional, but not a HIPAA violation)


19 posted on 03/08/2006 2:38:23 PM PST by dman4384
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To: indcons
Maybe she needs something for paranoia, too.

"I'm thinking they're thinking here comes psycho, that they're laughing at me as I come in the store'

20 posted on 03/08/2006 2:38:44 PM PST by digger48
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To: f150driver
I believe the fine for disclosing information is $10,000 per incident.

They disclosed their opinion that she is a crazy psycho. And they only disclosed it to her!

I don't think that's really against the law.

21 posted on 03/08/2006 2:39:24 PM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: f150driver

What did they disclose? And to who?


22 posted on 03/08/2006 2:40:07 PM PST by digger48
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To: dman4384

Hmm....good point...got to think about that one. You may be right though.


23 posted on 03/08/2006 2:40:09 PM PST by indcons (The MSM - Mainstream Slime Merchants)
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To: dman4384

Exactly, I thought the same thing.


24 posted on 03/08/2006 2:41:01 PM PST by TAdams8591 (Small is the key!)
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To: indcons

25 posted on 03/08/2006 2:41:38 PM PST by SIDENET (If those lame Imams can issue fatwas, then so can I)
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To: TAdams8591

me three!


26 posted on 03/08/2006 2:41:39 PM PST by digger48
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball
Absolutely. And she is a typical lib too.

Not to be needlessly argumentative... but: I see nothing in the entire article, linked above, giving any reliable sort of indicator whatsoever re: her political leanings, likely or otherwise.

The article does state she's spent the past two years battling various dependencies... but, if that's all it takes: then George Jones must have been "a typical lib," as well. (... and let's not even discuss Rush's self-confessed former Oxy abuse problem, for that matter...)

27 posted on 03/08/2006 2:42:33 PM PST by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle ("It'sTime for Republicans to Start Toeing the Conservative Line, NOT the Other Way Around!")
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To: Theresawithanh

Don't think so. They didn't disclose this to the *public*. They disclosed it to her. On accident, I'm sure. What, now, Walgreens should pay cause their employees thought her to be nuts and jotted down customer comments in order to better serve he (ie, don't feed the neurosis) ? I say she owes them.


28 posted on 03/08/2006 2:42:47 PM PST by farlander (Strategery - sure beats liberalism!)
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To: indcons
It appears to me that she really is "CrAzY!!" and that "she's really a psycho!!!"
29 posted on 03/08/2006 2:43:35 PM PST by Jaysun (The plain truth is that I am not a fair man, and don't want to hear both sides.)
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To: GOP_Proud

If anything, the store should be punished at a local level. Maybe something like a $5000 gift certificate for THAT store. But a multi million dollar lawsuit against Walgreens corporation is ridiculous ! (I can picture the Breck Girl fighting this woman's case..)


30 posted on 03/08/2006 2:43:44 PM PST by HarmlessLovableFuzzball
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To: indcons
Walgreens may get into real trouble for this incident.

And well they should. They should also thank their lucky stars that this didn't result in her attempting to commit a successful suicide.

31 posted on 03/08/2006 2:44:56 PM PST by Hot Tabasco (When in doubt, I ask myself: "What would Jack Bauer do?" My boss isn't going to like the answer...)
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To: indcons

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that "they" aren't out to get you.


32 posted on 03/08/2006 2:45:52 PM PST by weegee ("Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but Democrats believe every day is April 15.")
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball
Money, money, money, m-o-n-e-y. She's just crazy for money. On the local news this evening is a woman suing because she had a girl instead of the boy she was told she would have based on an ultrasound. Gee, her little girl is sure going to feel wanted if she ever finds out about this.
33 posted on 03/08/2006 2:46:24 PM PST by pepperdog
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To: dman4384
How can disclosure of patient info to the patient be a violation under HIPAA?

Is it a HIPAA violation to give information about a patient's multiple personality disorder to the wrong personality?

34 posted on 03/08/2006 2:47:18 PM PST by KarlInOhio (The tree of liberty is getting awfully parched.)
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To: indcons

As a follow up to my prior post, Tort reform is the answer to what is surely going to happen.


35 posted on 03/08/2006 2:47:20 PM PST by Hot Tabasco (When in doubt, I ask myself: "What would Jack Bauer do?" My boss isn't going to like the answer...)
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

Lawyers want cash. They don't want half of a $5,000 gift certificate.


36 posted on 03/08/2006 2:48:14 PM PST by weegee ("Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but Democrats believe every day is April 15.")
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To: indcons

I was once married to one like this. This woman will never turn this loose and, even after it's settled, she'll find a way to sue the lawyer who represents her. It goes on forever. I know. I've been divorced from mine since 1994 and I still hear about the people who have offended her and how she's going to get them. She went through 3 lawyers during our divorce because the lawyers kept firing her as a client. These medications are a dangerous balancing act.


37 posted on 03/08/2006 2:49:30 PM PST by Emmett McCarthy
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To: GOP_Proud

There is no cause for a law suit IMO. She didn't lose a dime. Further, based on her reaction to the note, has proven the note writers correct. At best she should get an apology for their bad manners. Nothing more.


38 posted on 03/08/2006 2:50:09 PM PST by Scotsman will be Free
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To: GOP_Proud

"I'm normally on the side agaist lawsuits, but this one is so deserved."

While I agree with your sentiment, I can never feel good about these kinds of lawsuits. Because she was embarrased or got her feelings hurt is no reason to award her some huge settlement, which is certainly where this is headed. I write internal notes all the time. If I enter them in the wrong field, the customer will be able to see them on reports. Luckily, I haven't been sued yet for typing in the wrong field.

Whatever happened to going to the owner/manager, throwing a fit and refusing to ever do business with them again while telling your story to everyone who will listen? Do I get a million everytime some moron in some business wrongs me? I am growing to hate our sue-happy society.


39 posted on 03/08/2006 2:50:26 PM PST by L98Fiero (I'm worth a million in prizes.)
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To: indcons

I don't think the customer had any right to reveal the private comments made by the Walgreen's employees. Perhaps they can sue her!


40 posted on 03/08/2006 2:50:42 PM PST by TravisBickle (A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. ~ Winston S. Churchill)
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To: farlander

Walgreen's had every right to make such comments to the employees who may come in contact with her, for their safety, but those comments should not have been made known to her.

Who knows? I am enough of a cynic to think that this is not a true story anyway.


41 posted on 03/08/2006 2:51:02 PM PST by Theresawithanh (Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.)
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To: dman4384

Agreed. Unprofessional, but not a HIPAA violation.

But, sounds like the pharmacy's internal "notes" were justified.


42 posted on 03/08/2006 2:53:46 PM PST by rlmorel ("Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does." Whittaker Chambers)
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To: Riley

Is "Crazy", and "psycho" entered by a drugstore clerk "medical information" - or more technically, "protected health information"? I don't think so. It is an opinion only, and certainly not a medical diagnosis, as the article itself even states. Also, HIPAA obviously does not prohibit health care personnel such as the Walgreens pharmacists working different shifts from sharing at least some "protected health information" with each other. Even though the informatoin is linked throughout the Walgreens nationwide database, it is unlikely that anyone who works at Walgreens spends time reading comments made about customers other than the one they are waiting on at any particular time.


There may be some kind of lawsuit here, but I don't see a HIPAA violation.


43 posted on 03/08/2006 2:54:02 PM PST by Flash Bazbeaux
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To: KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle
"The article does state she's spent the past two years battling various dependencies... but, if that's all it takes: then George Jones must have been "a typical lib," as well. (... and let's not even discuss Rush's self-confessed former Oxy abuse problem, for that matter...)"

The fact that she rushed to file a lawsuit for this (!) is the giveaway. I am all for Walgreens profusely apologizing on their knees to this woman , firing the clerk and giving her a generous store voucher. But in no way is this lawsuit material!

44 posted on 03/08/2006 2:54:46 PM PST by HarmlessLovableFuzzball
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To: indcons
Karp admits she is intensely private

Ummmm...I can tell she has done everything possible to prevent this from becoming public.

45 posted on 03/08/2006 2:55:51 PM PST by Lekker 1 ("Computers in the future may have only 1000 vacuum tubes..." - Popular Mechanics, March 1949)
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To: farlander
They disclosed it to her.

Her friend, according to later in the article, picked up the prescriptions, thus the comments were disclosed to a third party.

The question, in my mind, is if those entries were done by more than one person, and if they were, if I was a juror, I'd vote for her to pound sand. That she could cause pharmacy personnel to go at least twice to her file and enter warning data about her personality speaks volumes.

If I was Walgreens, I'd be firing a programmer right now for letting those comments appear anywhere near a customer's receipt. Sure, it might have been from a rotten tear job, but still, such comments should have been on the far end of the document if it printed on the same sheet, just to prevent such an occurrence.
46 posted on 03/08/2006 2:56:07 PM PST by kingu (Liberalism: The art of sticking your fingers in your ears and going NANANANA..)
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To: digger48
One clerk discloses private info (even if it was speculation) that the woman has a psychiatric condition on the patient's prescription receipt. Now other clerks who work other shifts see it and they "know" too. Information they had no right to know or speculate on is now in the open.

It's even worse if she really does have a psych condition. If she didn't, Walgreens could argue it was just rude and tasteless but not a disclosure.

I'm no lawyer, but I have gotten HIPAA info and lectures at work. We can get in trouble just for discussing a patient in an open area.
47 posted on 03/08/2006 2:56:25 PM PST by f150driver
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To: indcons
>"CrAzY

First off, no adult writes like that.
That reads like a 15 year old hacker's rant.

That being said, I have been in the presence of incredible incompetence from teenage "pharmacy techs" who dispensed, along with meds, completely incorrect information.

The major chains that hire such minimum wage darlings to work in the pharmacy had best watch their six. - They have very deep pockets.
48 posted on 03/08/2006 2:57:15 PM PST by bill1952 ("All that we do is done with an eye towards something else.")
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To: Flash Bazbeaux

"There may be some kind of lawsuit here, but I don't see a HIPAA violation."

There can be no lawsuit if there is no HIPAA violation, right? I mean, what else can she sue them for?


49 posted on 03/08/2006 2:57:41 PM PST by indcons (The MSM - Mainstream Slime Merchants)
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To: indcons
"Karp admits she is intensely private and can't help but feel stigmatized for needing medication to feel normal."

Intensely private until she saw a few $$$$$ looming with this lawsuit. I guess she ain't so crazy after all.

50 posted on 03/08/2006 2:57:54 PM PST by Radix (Stop domestic violence. Beat abroad.)
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