(Photo: Screen Grab via ABC Action News)
A woman who was tricked into having an abortion by her boyfriend is suing the Florida pharmacy that supplied her partner with an abortion-inducing drug.
Remee Jo Lee, 27, suffered a miscarriage earlier in March 2013, when she was around seven weeks pregnant, after her boyfriend tricked her into taking a miscarriage-inducing drug, saying it was an antibiotic for an infection. The boyfriend, 29-year-old John Welden, had forged the signature of his father, a registered OB/GYN, for a prescription for Cytotec, known generically as misoprostol, a medication used to prevent stomach ulcers that can also cause miscarriages and birth defects if taken while pregnant.
Lee, who formerly worked as a dancer at a gentlemen's club, argues in the lawsuit against Sun Lake Pharmacy in Lutz, north of Tampa, that Welden conspired with an employee at the pharmacy to fill the forged prescription, and to obtain a pill bottle and a medical label with Lee's name on it, even though Lee was not a customer at the pharmacy.
The lawsuit argues that the pharmacy employee, who remains unnamed, was aware that Welden would be putting a different medication into the prepared pill bottle, yet willingly prepared the fraudulent label with Lee's information on it. Welden later added a second label to the bottle that said the medication was "amoxicillin."
Upon receiving the Cytotec prescription, fraudulent label and empty pill bottle, Welden scratched the identity markings off of the stomach ulcer pills and put them into the empty bottle, afterwards applying the fraudulent label to the bottle. He told Lee that his OB/GYN father, who had confirmed Lee's pregnancy, had said she had an infection and needed to take amoxicillin, an antibiotic.
The lawsuit, filed in Hillsborough County Circuit Court, names Sun Lake Pharmacy, as well as five employees, including three pharmacists and two technicians, for professional malpractice. The lawsuit argues that "a reasonably competent, concerned and safe pharmacist would have recognized the prescription […]was grossly in error."
It specifically states that the pharmacist, who allegedly conspired with Welden, should have recognized the forged signature of his father, and should have contacted the doctor's office for more information as the prescription seemed to be suspicious.
Welden pleaded guilty in September to federal charges of forgery and conspiring with a pharmacy employee. He partook in a plea deal that allowed him to avoid the death penalty but will likely result in 13 years, eight months imprisonment when he has his sentencing in December. Part of the plea deal was that Welden would testify that the pharmacy employee conspired with him and knew what he was up to.