Court Finds Eleven Incidents of Pharmacy Malpractice Constitute Related Claims
Eleven sufferers of macular degeneration developed bacterial infections as a result of a pharmacy's unsanitary method of repackaging eye medication and sued for damages. The pharmacy's insurer brought suit against the underlying plaintiffs to determine whether their injuries constituted one, two, or three or more “claims” under separate insurance policies for the pharmacy and pharmacist providing $1 million per claim and $3 million in the aggregate. The insurer argued the eleven claims were “related claims” making them subject to the $1 million liability limit under each policy. The court held that the claims for negligently repackaging two preservative-free drugs for injections by the same doctor to treat the same condition constituted “related claims.” The Eleventh Circuit agreed, focusing its analysis on whether the claims are logically or causally connected by any common fact or circumstance, not whether there are any differences between the defendants’ individual claims.