South Elgin man sues Meijer after getting wrong form of medication

Jim Danz was being wheeled out of his South Elgin home by paramedics on a stretcher, in the throes of what he thought was his second heart attack in barely a week.

“It was horrifying,” Danz said. “I can still picture my daughter watching me being taken away. I thought I was going to die and never see any of my kids again.”

The 41-year-old father of five believes the second heart-related emergency only happened because a pharmacist at a Meijer store in Elgin gave him the wrong form of a medication for his first heart attack. He’s suing the retail giant and the pharmacist for $700,000 to cover his medical bills, lost time at work and pain and suffering Danz said lingers to this day. The suit was filed Thursday in Kane County.

Meijer officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the suit.

According to the lawsuit, Danz suffered a heart attack Feb. 16, 2017. He was out driving for his sales job when he started feeling ill. He called his wife to see if he could get a doctor’s appointment, but Danz said the symptoms intensified while he was near DeKalb, so he called 911 and they directed him to Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital, where emergency room doctors determined he was suffering a “myocardial infarction,” the lawsuit states. He was hospitalized for two days before being released and given a prescription for metoprolol succinate, a beta blocker used to treat heart failure. It’s a slow-releasing medication taken once a day and was prescribed to Danz at 25 milligrams, according to the lawsuit.

The prescription was filled at the Elgin Meijer store, but Danz was given a bottle of metoprolol tartrate, a fast-acting beta blocker used to guard against future heart attacks, according to the lawsuit. It’s usually prescribed in 50 milligram doses to be taken twice a day, Danz’s attorney Patrick Walsh said.

But Danz was given 25-milligram tablets, as the prescription read.

“At best he was getting a quarter of the medication he needed,” Walsh said.

Danz said he would take his medication in the morning and start to feel better, but by the evening he would begin to feel the symptoms similar to the heart attack. Eight days after being released from the hospital, Danz found himself on that stretcher en route to Presence St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin, where he was diagnosed with sinus tachycardia after his pulse rate rose to 180 beats per minutes, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit states that days later, when Danz was picking up a new prescription, another Meijer pharmacist acknowledged the original error and told Danz about the mistake. There’s a notation on one of the prescriptions that it was erroneously filled, according to the suit.

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