Understanding the Walgreens vs. Panasonic Alarm System Case

Understanding the Walgreens vs. Panasonic Alarm System Case

Imagine storing millions of dollars worth of specialty pharmaceuticals in a refrigerator, only to find out that your alarm system didn’t notify you when the temperature went haywire. This is exactly what happened to Walgreens at their Beaverton, Oregon facility. Let’s dive into the details of this unfortunate event and the legal battle that followed.

The Problem

Walgreens, a major pharmacy chain, had a refrigerated storage facility in Beaverton, Oregon, where they kept high-value pharmaceuticals. To ensure the safety of these drugs, they needed a reliable alarm system that would alert them if the temperature went out of the safe range. They hired Panasonic Healthcare Corporation of North America to install this system, called the LabAlert System.

The Setup

Panasonic didn’t install the system themselves. Instead, they subcontracted the job to Comm-Works, a company that often works with Walgreens. Comm-Works then hired another company, CCV Technology, to do the actual installation.

The Failure

In June 2016, the refrigerator at Walgreens’ Beaverton facility failed, causing the temperature to rise above the safe range. Unfortunately, Walgreens didn’t receive any alarm notifications about this issue. As a result, many expensive pharmaceuticals were ruined.

The Blame Game

Walgreens sued Panasonic, claiming that the alarm system failed because it wasn’t installed correctly. They argued that Panasonic was responsible for the loss of their pharmaceuticals. Panasonic, in turn, filed a third-party complaint against Comm-Works, seeking to hold them responsible for any liability and defense costs.

The Court’s Decision

The court had to decide who was to blame for this costly failure. Here’s what they found:

  1. No Evidence of Faulty Installation: The court found no evidence that the CCV technician made any configuration changes to the alarm system that could have caused the failure.
  2. Walgreens’ Own Mistakes: The court discovered that Walgreens’ own employees made changes to the system and failed to follow proper alarm protocols. This was a significant factor in why the alarm didn’t go off.
  3. No Negligence by Panasonic: Since there was no proof that Panasonic or its subcontractors were negligent, the court ruled in favor of Panasonic.

Because Panasonic was not found liable, their claims against Comm-Works for indemnification (compensation for damages) and contribution (sharing the blame) were dismissed as moot.

What to Do If You Get Injured at Walgreens: Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

Accidents can happen anywhere, even at a place like Walgreens where you go to get your prescriptions or shop for everyday items. If you find yourself injured while at a Walgreens store, it’s crucial to know your rights and the steps you should take to protect them. One of the most important steps is hiring a Walgreens injury attorney. Here’s why and how you should go about it.

Why Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

  1. Expertise: Personal injury attorneys specialize in cases where someone has been injured due to someone else’s negligence. They understand the complex legal landscape and can navigate it effectively on your behalf.
  2. Maximize Compensation: An experienced attorney knows how to calculate the full extent of your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. They will fight to ensure you get the maximum compensation you deserve.
  3. Negotiation Skills: Insurance companies often try to settle claims for as little money as possible. A personal injury attorney has the negotiation skills to deal with these companies and ensure you get a fair settlement.
  4. Peace of Mind: Dealing with an injury is stressful enough. Having an attorney handle the legal aspects allows you to focus on your recovery.

Steps to Take After Getting Injured

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Your health is the most important thing. Get medical treatment immediately, even if you think the injury is minor. This also creates a medical record that will be important for your case.
  2. Report the Incident: Inform the store manager about your injury and make sure an incident report is filed. Get a copy of this report for your records.
  3. Document Everything: Take photos of the scene, your injuries, and any hazards that may have caused your accident. Keep all medical records, receipts, and any other documentation related to your injury.
  4. Gather Witness Information: If there were any witnesses to your accident, get their contact information. Their statements could be valuable for your case.
  5. Consult a Personal Injury Attorney: Contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. They can guide you on the next steps and help you understand your legal options.

How to Choose the Right Attorney

  1. Experience: Look for a personal injury attorney who specializes in personal injury cases and has a track record of successful outcomes.
  2. Reputation: Check online reviews and ask for recommendations from friends or family. A good reputation is often a sign of reliable service.
  3. Communication: Choose an attorney who communicates clearly and promptly. You want someone who will keep you informed every step of the way.
  4. Contingency Fee Basis: Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. This can make legal representation more accessible.


Getting injured at a Walgreens store can be a traumatic experience, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Hiring a personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal complexities, ensure you get the compensation you deserve, and allow you to focus on your recovery. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, taking these steps can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.