Sewickley lawyer sues pharmacies, alleges ID theft with pills
CVS and Giant Eagle pharmacies allowed other people to fill oxycodone prescriptions made out in his name and, in Giant Eagle’s case, then charged his health insurance, a local attorney says in a proposed class-action lawsuit moved to federal court on Monday.
Andrew Gabriel, whose office is in Sewickley, is suing the pharmacies for negligently handling the security of personal information, identity theft, invasion of privacy and other claims. He’s suing on behalf of a national class that numbers in the “hundreds of thousands,” the lawsuit says.
Gabriel couldn’t be reached for comment.
“We deny the allegations in the lawsuit and intend to defend the case vigorously,” said CVS spokesman Michael DeAngelis, who declined further comment.
Giant Eagle spokesman Dick Roberts said: “The claims being made are without merit and will be vigorously contested.”
Gabriel first sued in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court. CVS had it moved to federal court because it crosses state lines.
The lawsuit says Gabriel learned that the pharmacies had allowed other people to obtain oxycodone and other controlled substances in his name on May 14, 2012, when a Pittsburgh police detective called to tell him he was the victim of identity theft.
The person presenting the prescription also showed prescriptions in several other names, the lawsuit says. Because the prescriptions were for frequently abused drugs, the pharmacies should have taken extra care in filling them, according to the lawsuit.
“Defendants repeatedly failed to conduct themselves as trusted professionals in favor of profit-seeking behavior by consciously ignoring or being indifferent to these well-known medical identity theft risks,” the lawsuit says.
Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.