Ex parte VEL, LLC, et al.Annotate this Case
Petitioners VEL, LLC ("VEL"); Montgomery Drug Co., Inc. ("MDCI"); Robert Stafford; and Erica Greene sought mandamus relief. William Kilgore sought to fill his prescription for ropinirole, a drug used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, at the Adams Drugs pharmacy in Montgomery. Instead of filling Kilgore's prescription with ropinirole as prescribed, the employees working at the pharmacy filled Kilgore's prescription with risperidone. After having taken risperidone instead of ropinirole for several days, Kilgore began experiencing negative health consequences and sought medical assistance at the emergency room of Baptist Medical Center South. At the time Kilgore's prescription was improperly filled at the Adams Drugs pharmacy, VEL and MDCI each owned and operated at least one Adams Drugs pharmacy in Montgomery. Kilgore and Patricia Kilgore Kyser, as guardian and conservator of Kilgore (collectively, "plaintiffs"), filed the original complaint in the action against "VEL, LLC, d.b.a. Adams Drugs, and/or Adams Drugs Good Neighbor Pharmacy," and several fictitiously named defendants, seeking damages for Kilgore's injuries that plaintiffs alleged were caused by defendants' alleged negligence and wantonness. A month after the statute of limitations expired, VEL moved to dismiss, asserting that it "has no relation or connection with any of the claims stated against it in [the plaintiffs'] complaint." Plaintiffs sought to amend their complaint to list parties that were previously listed fictitiously. Several months after VEL's motion to dismiss, MDCI moved to dismiss, arguing the statute of limitations had expired, plaintiffs were suing the wrong entity, and that the amended complaint did not relate back to the original. VEL renewed its motion to dismiss, also arguing plaintiffs sued the wrong entity. The trial court ultimately denied the motions, and petitioners filed this mandamus action. After review, the Supreme Court granted petitioners' petition in part and denied it in part. The Court granted the petition insofar as they requested a writ directing the trial court to vacate its order denying MDCI's summary-judgment motion and to enter an order granting MDCI's summary-judgment motion. The Court denied insofar as they requested the circuit court vacate its order denying VEL's, Stafford's, and Greene's summary-judgment motions and to enter an order granting those motions.