The Plaintiff in this case, represented by Mr. Wagner, represented the estate of his mother, who died when an alleged pharmacy error resulted in her death by methotrexate toxicity. While she was prescribed 15 mg of this powerful drug per week, she was given, and told to take, an additional 10 mg of methotrexate per day. She died slightly more than a month later.
The Defendants argued that they could not be sued since their governing legislation, the Pharmacy Act, provided for an exceptionally short limitation period for negligence on the part of pharmacists. The Plaintiff therefore brought the matter before the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia to determine whether this argument could prevail and limit their claims.
It was ultimately determined that the Plaintiff was right to bring an action for the negligently caused death under the Fatal Injuries Act and the Defendants’ arguments about the Pharmacy Act limitation period were dismissed. Mr. Wagner successfully argued that the Pharmacy Act was about increasing professional accountability, and that, when someone brings a cause of action to redress a wrong, they are owed the benefit of the longest applicable limitation period.
The full text of the decision can be read here: http://canlii.ca/t/hw5cs