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Poll: Is Harding Pharmacy Lawsuit 'Ridiculous'?

Harding Pharmacy paying Saddle River man $1.9M after he overdosed on stolen drugs from the pharmacy in 2007 and later sued

A recent poll by the New Jersey Lawsuit Reform Alliance suggests voters overwhelmingly believe a lawsuit filed against  by a man that overdosed on stolen drugs at a party, is "ridiculous".

In Sept. of 2007, Scott Simon, then 17, of Saddle River, took Xanax provided to him by an ex-employee of Harding's, according to a Dec. report on northjersey.com. Simon claims he wound up suffering permanent nerve damage as a result of falling into a coma at the party, the article states.

As part of a settlement agreement, Harding Pharmacy will pay Simon $1.9 million. The homeowner of the party's host and participants at the party – who are alleged to have not called 911 after Simon fell into a coma – were sued by Simon, according to the article. Simon will receive a total of $4.1 million.

"In this case, the pharmacy was the victim - not the plaintiff, who made a decision to ingest stolen drugs,” said Marcus Rayner, NJLRA’s executive director. “Yet it is the pharmacy that is being denied justice by today's legal system and the drug user who is benefiting from it.”

This case underscores just how much our tort system has become out-of-step with common sense and fairness. Instead of investing in Ridgewood's local economy, Harding Pharmacy will be sending $1.9 million to the pocket of a man who made poor and illegal choices," he said. 

Many have said in discussion boards that the lawsuit demonstrates much of what's wrong with litigious America – there's a lack of personal responsibility and accountability coupled with sharking lawyers. Others have said businesses and people need to be more responsible in preventing such situations to transgress.

Let's hear what you have to say – is the lawsuit ridiculous?

Dot January 18, 2012 at 02:57 PM
We feel that the lawsuit against Harding Pharmacy is unjust. We have known the pharmacy for years and the pharmacy tried to give young people a chance to work in the neighborhood. The kid that stole the drugs should go to jail, and be punished. We feel that the pharmacy is a victim in this case. We hope that people continue to use the pharmacy and the store for the experience they offer. Harding Pharmacy has always been a huge help to our family and friendly. The pharmacy has been a stable contribution to Ridgewood for help matters for years.
Harlan Consider January 18, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Ridiculous, yes, but the pharmacy's attorneys and Myron didn't think it was ridiculous enough to leave it to a jury to decide. Hardings settled the case. People today are simply unpredictable in their powers of deduction and it only takes a few of these numbskulls to get on the jury and then you have a huge problem, on that could put Hardings out of business.
James Kleimann January 18, 2012 at 07:21 PM
So this looks pretty overwhelming as of about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. 95 votes saying it's ridiculous and just 2 saying no.
Michael January 19, 2012 at 12:06 PM
This case and the award that Harding must pay reminds me of how jockey Bill Shoemaker was driving drunk in his Ford Bronco, had an accident which left him a quadriplegic; he then went on to sue Ford and settled for $1 million.
John Hahn January 19, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Ridiculous is too mild a word. Why a judge let this case go forward makes me wonder if we as a society have not 'jumped the shark' the drug ingester walks away with 4.1 million - attorney's split is simply unreal.
J Charles January 19, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Assumming the pharmacy followed reasonable and customary protocol for storage and disbursement of controlled substances,Harding should not be held accountable for employee theft of controlled substances. Jim
megan Smith January 19, 2012 at 12:50 PM
I have never used Hardings Drug Store but this would not discourage me from using it. I guess this is where one needs to take responsibility for their actions- the kid who stole them and the child who accepted them are at fault. The victim is the pharmacy.
SK January 19, 2012 at 02:42 PM
The judge should never have allowed this suite to go forward. This shows that the judges in our judicial system more often than not are not qualified to perform their jobs. Too often they either overstep their authority by making laws or imposing inappropriate sentences or allow lawsuties that have no merit in the first place. Quite often the very lawyers that argue these absurd suites become judges themselves. It is a revolving door that is slowly destroying our judicial system.
Fan of Ridgewood January 19, 2012 at 03:34 PM
My family has used Harding Pharmacy for years. They have been extremely caring in their dispensing of medicine and advice to us. Sadly, people just can't rely on our legal system to dispense justice.
John Hahn January 19, 2012 at 04:33 PM
I will now start to go to Harding Pharmacy if for no other reason than to support a good local business that was utterly wronged. I encourage anyone reading this post to spread the word. SHOP HARDING PHARMACY IN RIDGEWOOD. They also have a liquor store. Buy your Giant-watching beverages at Harding Pharmacy Corner of Maple & E. Ridgewood Ave. Mon. - Sat. 9 AM - 10 PM
Ridgewood Mom January 19, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Harding Pharmacy deserves our increased support. It is such a travesty that this happened to them.
Dot January 19, 2012 at 05:10 PM
We agree! We hope everyone will shop at Harding Pharmacy. The liquor store has a good wine selection. Also, Harding Pharmacy has a great greeting card selection, too. They sell vitamins and they have good sales. If you have a question on meds or vitamins, they are very helpful. Let's support Harding Pharmacy and keep the small pharmacy and wine store open!
Lynnport January 19, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Harding Pharmacy is everything anyone would want in a hometown pharmacy. Caring, responsive. Staff is excellent. Everyone needs to support this wonderful place
Fan of Ridgewood January 19, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Rock - if i was to guess, and that's all im doing is guessing. Maybe the controlled substance, Xanax, was not properly locked up and a minor was able to steal it. That would be a liability to them. But even so, it seems like a stiff penalty because of a thieving employee.
kerry January 20, 2012 at 02:36 AM
My husband and I both grew up in Ridgewood and Hardings has always been a reassuring presence. It is a warm and friendly, old fashioned business. Myron is a sweetheart and goes out of his way to go above and beyond in his life's work. He truly cares about his customers on a personal level and wants to know them by name. He is very knowledgeable and will come out from behind the counter to show over the counter options as well. He takes his work seriously and is very careful with dispensing prescriptions. We LOVE the convenience of the attached liquor store. The two gentlemen who run the counter are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the wine they carry and give great advice in recommending the best wine for your budget. They remember what we like and have even special ordered wine for their store when we looked for a label we liked that they didn't carry. They treat us like we are important to them. We love the convenience of stopping by on our way to walk into town for dinner. I am just learning of this lawsuit tonight and am heart sick! It would be such a loss for Ridgewood if they were to go out of business for something so unfair. They are one of the few remaining businesses from "old" Ridgewood when the shops were more personal and had more heart. Yes!!! Support Hardings Pharmacy with your business as a show of support. You will never go back to a chain pharmacy again!!!
Lawrence January 20, 2012 at 03:02 AM
I have been going to Harding Pharmacy and it's fair to say that Myron was behind the pharmacy counter 98% of the time. He's an outstanding pharmacist. All of the drugs are behind a big, high, inaccessable counter. I've never seen the front end employee back there (and I've been going to Harding for 22 years) The kid working for him probably swiped the Xanax after Myron had dispensed it and it was waiting to be picked up. Myron probably filled it, placed it with the other prescriptions to be picked up and the kid took it on the way out the door to the party that night. I'm only guessing but this is an educated guess having done business there 20+ years.
Lawrence January 20, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Jury awards are out of control these days and who knows what some crazy jury would award. If the bulk of the $1.9 million was covered by insurance, I probably would have settled too.
S&S January 21, 2012 at 05:24 PM
We have used Harding for many years and we want to strongly support Myron. He has always done a great job for our family. This is a very unfair nightmare to have to deal with. We strongly recommend you patronize this outstanding local small business.
SR res March 23, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Spoiled brat that ingested who knows what combination of drugs and alcohol at an underaged, unsupervised house party in Saddle River! The people ( Knuckles ) who hosted the party should be held liable. If a robber stole a prescription from my house and overdosed, could he sue me? It's unforgivable that this bastard benefits from his OWN decision to take drugs. So ridiculous
KenC October 18, 2012 at 03:49 AM
Harding Drugs "committed 92 regulatory violations in a DEA audit, including not locking a cabinet containing drugs". That seems pretty serious. I know that the people there are nice and helpful. But this accident might not have happened if they had followed the rules.

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