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Can I file a lawsuit against a pharmacy for release of medications to a third party without my consent?

Marysville, CA |

I told them twice, one time on the phone, and one in person, yet they still gave away my prescription without my knowledge

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Attorney answers 3


We would need more info here. Who was the third party? Was it, for instance, a court-appointed conservator?

If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. Stephen Pearcy is licensed to practice law in California. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. The response is for legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question.



I asked the pharmacy to keep on file that if my ex husband or anyone else but me, calls to inquire about a prescription for me or comes in for my prescriptions to do not release any informations or prescriptions to them.



And when I went to go pick up my prescription they told me that someone had already came and picked it up. And to no surprise? It was my ex husband/spouse.


It is possible that release of medications to a person who is not authorized by you or by law to act on your behalf could be a violation of certain medical privacy laws. You would have to establish damages sufficient to make such a lawsuit worth the expense. That might be your biggest issue.

Good luck to you.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.


I agree with the other counsel - it's hard to determine what the damage is here. You put on a tag labeled "HIPAA Rights", but there is no right of action / right to bring a lawsuit for violations of HIPAA, assuming that there was one here. A suit based on any other theory would require you to prove damages.

What you can do if you believe that there was a HIPAA violation is file a complaint with the federal Office for Civil Rights , which enforces the law. I am including a link below to more information about how to do that. Generally this must be done within 180 days of the event. If OCR agrees that there was a violation they will investigate and obtain corrective action from the pharmacy so that this doesn't happen to you (or anyone else) again.

This response is intended to provide general information, but not legal advice. The response may be different if there are other or different facts than those included in the original question. See for more information on why this communication is not privileged or create an attorney-client relationship.

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