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Family sues assisted living center, pharmacy for allegedly giving unnecessary chemo treatment in wrongful death case

(Stock Photo)

UTAH COUNTY – An Orem assisted living center and a Utah-based pharmacy are at the center of a wrongful death lawsuit filed by a family who claims their mother was given chemotherapy treatment when she didn’t need it.

The lawsuit claims Gloria Dunn was a resident of Bel Aire Assisted Living in July of last year when she was supposed to be given a diuretic called Metolazone.  Family attorney Ricky Shelton says the prescription was sent to Select Pharmacy.

“Somehow, they sent back a chemotherapy drug that’s labeled a ‘high alert’ medication,” Shelton says.

The official name of that medication is Methotrexate, and Shelton believes the staff at Bel Aire should have known not to give it to her.

“It can be lethal.  In fact, it was designed as kind of a last resort drug for people who are dying from cancer,” he says.

Shelton claims Dunn was in agonizing pain for weeks before she finally died.

“It is absolutely a miserable, painful experience,” he adds.

Several doctors and nurses have also been named as defendants.  The family has not specified a dollar figure they’re asking for, but Shelton says their main concern is to prevent this kind of thing from happening again.

Shelton says, “When you have a high alert medication like this, there should be multiple safeguards in place to prevent a simple mistake from happening.”

KSL Newsradio and KSL.com have reached out to both Bel Aire and Select Pharmacy for a response, but those requests have not been answered, yet.