Ever wonder why people call for tort reform?
Well, the Rogue presents Chad Wink, a 36-year-old Portland man who pleaded guilty to a careless-driving charge after a car accident and now has filed a $50,000 lawsuit blaming his doctor for the accident and the "embarrassment" of criminal charges.
Here's the sequence of events, according to the civil suit filed by Wink on Nov. 28 in Multnomah County Circuit Court:
A couple weeks before his Dec. 13, 2003, car accident on Southeast Stark Street, Wink went to Dr. William Turner, a Portland physician, for a sinus condition. Turner recommended Benadryl, a common over-the-counter allergy pill. Wink also had been taking Xanax, an anti-anxiety medication. Wink's suit alleges Turner knew Wink was taking Xanax and should have given Wink better warnings about potential side effects of combining the two drugs.
But after talking to Pfizer, which makes both drugs, the Rogue Desk wonders why the doc should take the blame.
Pfizer warns that Xanax can cause drowsiness and impaired coordination. And the product labeling for Benadryl says taking Benadryl with sedatives and tranquilizers, such as Xanax, may increase drowsiness.
Repeated calls to Wink's home weren't answered, and his attorney declined comment.
So back to the December 2003 accident scene. Witnesses saw Wink drive away, and when police charged Wink a week later with reckless driving and hit-and-run, he claimed to have not remembered the accident for a couple of days, despite $2,500 damage to his Jeep Wrangler.
He eventually pleaded guilty to one count of careless driving and received a $600 fine (still unpaid).
Dr. Turner, who has had an Oregon medical license since 1979, did not return calls seeking comment, but the Board of Medical Examiners has no record of malpractice claims against him.