Walter v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

2000 ME 63, 748 A.2d 961



Causation meant that there be some reasonable connection between the act or omission of the defendant and the damage which the plaintiff had suffered. The defendant's conduct must be a substantial factor in bringing about the plaintiff's harm in order for there to be proximate cause.


Plaintiff suffered from cancer, and her doctor prescribed a chemotherapy medication. Plaintiff had the prescription filled at defendant store. Defendant's pharmacist gave plaintiff the wrong medication, causing her serious physical problems requiring hospitalization. Plaintiff sued defendant for pharmacist malpractice. The trial court awarded damages to plaintiff. Defendant appealed. The state supreme court affirmed the judgment.


Was the trial court correct in holding that the malpractice of defendant’s pharmacist was the proximate cause of the damages plaintiff suffered?




There was a judicial admission that defendant was liable for plaintiff's damages. Further, the trial court did not err in granting judgment as a matter of law to plaintiff on causation, in refusing to instruct the jury on comparative negligence, in giving the mitigation jury instruction, and in denying defendant's motions for judgment as a matter of law, for a mistrial, and for a new trial.

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