Hard Pill to Swallow,

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June 2021 Issue [Readings]

Hard Pill to Swallow


From an appeal in a lawsuit against Costco, filed in the Arizona Supreme Court in March.

Greg Shepherd visited his physician for a checkup and a refill of his usual prescription. He also received a sample of an erectile-dysfunction medication. Thereafter, Shepherd went to Costco pharmacy to pick up his regular prescription and was notified that a full prescription of the ED medication was ready as well. Shepherd said that he did not want the ED prescription and instructed the Costco employee to cancel it. The employee acknowledged the request.

Shepherd called Costco the next month to check on his regular prescription refill. An employee told him that the regular and the ED prescriptions were ready. Shepherd again stated that he did not want the ED prescription and again his request was acknowledged.

Shepherd called back the next day, asking whether his ex-wife, with whom he was exploring a possible reconciliation, could pick up his regular prescription. The employee stated that she could and that the prescription was ready.

When Shepherd’s ex-wife arrived at Costco, the employee gave her both prescriptions. She did not accept the ED prescription, and she joked with the employee about it. Upon returning to Shepherd, she informed him that she knew about the ED medication and no longer wanted to be with him, ending any reconciliation effort. She later told Shepherd’s children and friends about the ED medication.

Shepherd complained to Costco headquarters about the disclosure of the ED prescription. He then sued Costco, alleging negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, intrusion upon seclusion, and public disclosure of private facts.

Shepherd alleges that if he had known that Costco had failed to cancel the ED prescription, he would not have sent his ex-wife to pick up his medication.