AMERICAN FORK, Utah (KSTU/CNN) - The family of a Utah woman has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a local pharmacy and her assisted living facility, alleging they gave her the wrong medication that led to her painful death in July 2018.
Just a few weeks after 75-year-old Gloria Dunn chose to live at the Bel Aire Assisted Living Facility in Utah County, Utah, her health began to deteriorate at an alarming rate. Previously, she had only had trouble with her kidneys, her family says.
“The doctor looked at Mom and said, ‘Gloria, you need to go to the emergency room right now. You look like death,’" said Joshua Dunn, one of Gloria Dunn’s six children.
When Gloria Dunn arrived at the emergency room, doctors asked her son if she had cancer. It turned out the cancer-free 75-year-old had been getting large doses of methotrexate, a dangerous chemotherapy drug.
“The problems she was having were all related to that medication,” Joshua Dunn said.
According to a lawsuit filed Wednesday, Gloria Dunn had been prescribed metolazone, a common diuretic, but Select Pharmacy in Midvale, Utah, allegedly sent back the wrong drug. The staff at the assisted living facility then administered that drug to the 75-year-old.
It took more than a week for doctors to check her medications and realize the mistake, the lawsuit states.
“She hurt. She was really suffering. She had sores in her mouth that were just terrible. So, even when she was trying to communicate, she couldn’t talk at all,” said Tani Griffin, Gloria Dunn’s daughter. “We all came to realize and understand it was too late.”
Gloria Dunn’s family says the woman would have wanted answers for what happened to her. Now, more than a year after the 75-year-old’s untimely death, her family is determined to get them.
“She wanted to understand why. She didn’t understand either, and when we knew, it was really powerful to be able to say to her, ‘This is what happened. It wasn’t your fault, and we’re so sorry,’" Griffin said. “The suffering that she endured through a mistake should never happen to anyone else, and that’s what we care about.”