GENEVA – A hockey coach for a Geneva youth team is suing Meijer for more than $700,000 after a pharmacist gave him the wrong heart medication, resulting in hospitalization, emotional distress and missing three weeks of work, according to Kane County court records.
James Danz, 43, of Elgin, filed suit in Kane County against Meijer and its pharmacist Feb. 14 alleging that the pharmacist gave him a prescription for metoprolol tartrate – which is used to treat heart attacks – instead of metoprolol succinate – which is used to treat heart failure, according to the lawsuit.
Danz, a father of five, is an assistant coach for the Geneva Cyclones hockey team, which skates at the Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva, his attorney Patrick Walsh said.
Danz had a heart attack Feb. 16, 2017, was treated and prescribed metoprolol succinate 25mg, which was transmitted to the Meijer pharmacy in Elgin and picked up two days later by his wife, the lawsuit stated.
Metoprolol is a beta-blocker used to reduce heart rate and blood pressure, but comes in two different forms. Metoprolol succinate is an extended-release tablet taken once a day, while metoprolol tartrate is an immediate-release tablet taken more than once a day, the lawsuit stated.
Danz took the medication in the morning and by night he would awaken with anxiety and a rapid heart rate, which he believed was a result of the heart attack. By Feb. 22, his doctor prescribed a sedative to combat his anxiety, the lawsuit stated.
But by Feb. 26, Danz’s anxiety accelerated, he had chest pain and his heart rate was more than 180 beats per minute, leading him to believe he was having another heart attack, the lawsuit stated.
An ambulance took him to an Elgin hospital where he stayed overnight, had an angiogram and was placed on a heart monitor for three weeks, requiring that he miss work, the lawsuit stated.
Danz’s wife returned to the Meijer pharmacy Feb. 28 and spoke with the Pharmacy Team Leader who reviewed Danz's prescription and wrote that it had been given in error – essentially admitting in writing that he had been given the wrong medication, the lawsuit stated.
The lawsuit accuses the Meijer’s pharmacy of being careless and negligent, resulting in Danz having “pain and suffering, physical and emotional trauma, hospitalization, as well as pecuniary damages including but not limited to medical expenses,” according to the lawsuit.
Also filed with the lawsuit was an affidavit by Dr. Mark Nathan, a cardiologist, who reviewed Danz’s medical records. Danz’s heart attack was treated by the placement of a stent placed in his coronary artery and he was to take metoprolol succinate 25 mg once a day, according to the Nathan’s sworn statement.
“Substituting the prescription … contributed to the symptoms of tachycardia [rapid heart rate], chest pain and anxiety, which unnecessarily required re-hospitalization and testing,” according to Nathan’s sworn statement.
A voicemail message left with Meijer’s media hotline was not returned.
The case is scheduled for a May 1 court date.