A man is suing the nation’s largest drug-store chain for $10,000 — claiming that staff at a Gresham Walgreens pharmacy inadvertently shared a copy of his oxycodone prescription with a drug addict, who then tracked him down and demanded that he hand over his pills.
The lawsuit details a frightening face-to-face encounter outside the Walgreens at 16200 N.E. Glisan St. A woman — described in the suit as a prescription drug addict — became hostile after the man refused to give her his painkillers.
“She threatened him that she knew where he lived, that she would use his personal information to come rob his house, and that she would have her people beat him up,” states the suit, filed last week in Multnomah County Circuit Court. “She said that ‘Timmy’ gets out of jail in 8 months and that he would come get him.”
A representative from Walgreens did not respond to a request seeking comment. Walgreens has more than 8,200 stores nationwide, including 77 in Oregon and 134 in Washington.
According to the suit, the man’s troubles began after he filled a prescription for oxycodone at the Glisan Street Walgreens on Jan. 8. Two days later, he was contacted by a stranger who said that Walgreens staff had mistakenly slipped a copy of his prescription and personal information in a bag containing her daughter’s prescription medicine, according to the suit.
“She told him that she had all of his information, including his full name, date of birth, residential address, and telephone number,” states the suit. “She told him she would return his information to him if he agreed to give her the pain medication he had been prescribed.”
The man nervously agreed to meet the stranger at Walgreens, where he persuaded her to go inside the store to tell pharmacy staff about the mix-up, the suit says.
“Walgreens pharmacy staff admitted that they had made a mistake,” the suit states.
Afterward, the man was outside the store with the woman when he told her he wouldn’t give her his oxycodone — and that’s when she threatened to rob him or have “Timmy” come after him.
It’s unclear if the man called police. The man’s Portland attorney, William Ball, didn’t return a call seeking comment.
The suit states that the threat caused the plaintiff a “tremendous amount of anxiety and sleeplessness.” His “anxiety partially stems from not knowing what (the woman) is capable of,” the suit says.
The suit faults Walgreens for allegedly violating federal health privacy law by sharing private health information with a stranger and for allegedly violating its own company policy by failing to notify him of the breach.
In addition to $10,000 for emotional distress and unspecified economic damages, the suit also seeks attorney’s fees.
— Aimee Green