Can I sue a pharmacy for canceling my prescription because they assumed that I could not afford?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I sue a pharmacy for canceling my prescription because they assumed that I could not afford?

Called in a refill of my
prescription.Went to pick it up
and was told that it wasnt in and
that I probably coyld not afford
it anyway.Pharmacist said they
cancelled the order because they
didnt think that I could afford

Asked on February 8, 2017 under Malpractice Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't sue for this:
1) It is not defamation, because they said it to you. Defamation is a public untrue factual statement made about you to other people, which can be shown to have damaged your reputation to/among others. Statements made to you are not defamation.
2) You can only sue for the actual injury or damages you suffered. The injury or damage from a cancelled refill and having to spend some time on the phone to get it reinstated is de minimis--a court would put either no or a trivial value on it.
3) There is no "cause of action" or grounds to sue becasue you were insulted or affronted; the law does not protect our feelings that way.
A lawsuit is simply not the appropriate tool here; what you can do is contact the state board which liceneses pharmacies and pharmacists and lodge a complaint, which may result in some disciplinary action being taken, or at least a black mark in their file.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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