HOUSTON – Texas’ First Court of appeals recently found no expert report is needed in a lawsuit against Walgreens, which alleges an “animated discussion” between the plaintiff and a pharmacist resulted in a physical altercation.
In September 2015, Charles Stewart filed suit against Walgreen Company in Harris County District Court, accusing the drug store chain of negligent hiring, supervision and training.
Two years earlier, on Oct. 18, 2013, Stewart went to a Houston Walgreens to purchase prescription medication. He was engaged in an “animated discussion” with the pharmacist when a Walgreen employee physically attacked him, resulting in serious injury, according to the lawsuit.
In July 2016, Walgreens filed a motion to dismiss, asserting Stewart failed to serve an expert report, a requirement when filing a medical-malpractice lawsuit under Chapter 74 of the Texas Civil Code.
Stewart argued his claims do not constitute health care liability claims and on Jan. 25, 2017, the trial court denied Walgreens’ motion, leading the company to appeal.
According to the First Court’s Nov. 30 opinion, Stewart maintained that a Walgreens employee, not its pharmacist, physically assaulted him while he was arguing about a prescription.
“Stewart’s claims are not based on any effect arising from Walgreen’s dispensing of prescription medicines, and therefore, Walgreen is not a health care provider for (Texas Medical Liability Act) purposes in this case,” the opinion states.
“We hold that Stewart’s claims are not health care liability claims, and the trial court properly denied Walgreen’s motion to dismiss Stewart’s suit. We affirm the trial court’s order denying Walgreen’s motion to dismiss.”
Walgreens is represented by the Law Office of Phil Griffis in Houston.
Stewart is representing himself.
Appeals case No. 01-17-00080-CV
Trial case No. 2015-52136