Pharmacist Sentenced For Toddler’s Death

A former Cleveland area pharmacist got jail time in connection with the death of a toddler.

41-year-old Eric Cropp has been sentenced to six months in jail, six months of house arrest and three years probation in the death of 2-year-old Emily Jerry.

At Friday’s sentencing in Cleveland, Cropp was also ordered to tell professional groups about his case as part of 400 hours of community service when he leaves jail.

Cropp pleaded no contest in May to involuntary manslaughter in the 2006 death.

Prosecutors said Cropp was responsible because he oversaw the mixing of the girl’s chemotherapy at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland.

The toddler received an overdose of a saline solution during chemotherapy and died three days later.

During the sentencing, Emily’s mother spoke to the judge and to Cropp.

“Emily beat her cancer only to suffer a horrific and painful death. Mr. cropp you have no idea how you’ve devastated so many lives. You never will. Even if you were to recieve the maximum of 5 years, it will never compare to the lifetime of pain and suffering I and my family will have to endure,” said Kelly Jerry.

The hospital fired Cropp and his license was revoked.

Article written by ONN news, and can be found on 10tv.com. It was originally posted on 8/14/2009.

Original article can be found here.

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12 Comments

  1. Tony H.
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    This story brings me to the verge of tears. I’m a nurse, and I have three girls. What a cute kid!

    The pharmacist was working under very adverse circumstances that day, which increased the probability of human error. He is paying with jail time, loss of job, license, money, and freedom. I personally could not live with such a thing on my conscience- I’d likely shoot myself.

    All these other penalties for a huge human screw-up that was unintentional? Well, I can see why you would want strong penalties, but it doesn’t seem right to somebody reading both sides of the story. Why should any of us be in medicine with this sword of Damocles over our heads? If I make a human error I could go to prison and lose everything. Is it worth it? No, it is not! I wish I could bring your little girl back. This hurts, even for somebody that never knew her.

  2. Sarah L
    Posted December 6, 2009 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    As a hospital pharmacist, Kelly Jerry’s comments to Eric Cropp are deeply troubling to me. I have no doubt that Mr Cropp does have indeed have an idea about the lives that were devastated by this mistake – including his own and his family’s lives. Everyone lost in this scenario. Everyone.

    I agree with the other poster, Tony H – we are all susceptible to human error. It is something I have nightmares about. Unfortunately for those of us in health careers, those errors can result in harm to the patient. We work hard every day to ensure our work is flawless and we continue to make improvements in patient care that make the system better and less prone to errors. It saddens me that a fellow pharmacist has lost his job, his livelihood, and is serving jail time for a mistake.

    Mr and Mrs Jerry, I am deeply sorry for your loss. But I am afraid that such punitive measures will result in attempts to hide errors, shift blame and impede the process of continuous care improvement. No amount of punishment for Mr Cropp will bring back your sweet Emily.

  3. Thomas T
    Posted February 3, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    As a pharmacy tech on a naval base, i agree with sarah. I am deeply disturbed by the death and horrified by it. It does sadden me. But we are all human. To avoid errors 100% is impossible. If we was to do that, we techs and pharmacists would all sprout wings and halos. Now i think their definitley should have been a requisite for training and education before this happened. I mean in the navy, pharmacy tech school is 6 months long ususally twice as long as the civilian counterparts. It is said that pharmacists are 99.9% accurate. Sounds nice but when it adds up quickly becomes and ugly picture yes. I think the tech is totally at fault. If something in your mind raises a red flag but yet you ignore it knowing gosh darn (using censorship here) well that what you are filling/mixing could be harmful or fatal, that is just so stupid, ignorant, dumb and so forth. And plus it is said she was busy planning her wedding. Yeah planning her wedding while the Jerry’s were planning a funeral. I dont know how that ex-tech lives with herself. I think however that yes the pharmacist should have caught the error, criminal charges? Is joking ya are? Come on now America

  4. April
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    “Mr. cropp you have no idea how you’ve devastated so many lives. You never will. Even if you were to recieve the maximum of 5 years, it will never compare to the lifetime of pain and suffering I and my family will have to endure,” said Kelly Jerry.”

    Are you sure Mr. Cropp isn’t aware he allowed an incompetent employee, keep her job? Awareness is justice, to target one person for a trail of mistakes isn’t . Human error is sometimes deadly which is very unfortunate. Unless someone has malicous intent, can they be held totally responsible? Lesson…get rid of incompetent slackers in the job field quickly. Justice is blind in this country…..I have no doubt that if Little Emily was poor and from the inner city, there would have been a whole different outcome. It’s good that the techs are required to get training for compitence, but can anyone seriously say justice was served here?

  5. Josh
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    I don’t care if it was an unintentional mistake. “I didn’t mean to” is a lame excuse. If you make a mistake, and that mistake results in someone’s death, you step up and take responsibility for it. You willingly pay the consequences. That’s what decent, mature people do.

    Careless actions have consequences, regardless of what the intentions or motives were.

  6. Jamie
    Posted March 9, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Not just careless actions have consequences all actions have consequnces as this pharmacist has known for his entire career. That doesn’t change the fact that humans make mistakes and mistakes can lead to terrible consequences. For every 1000 medications a pharmacist will make one error. That is just a statistic. This was one of his mistakes and now his entire life if ruined.

    I totally agree that Mr./Mrs. Jerry should be monetarily compensated (and I’m sure they were), but what does ending this mans career and ruining his life do to make this mistake be reversed? Nothing whatsoever. This punishment is purely for reasons of revenge on the part of the plaintiff (I have had a sibling and other close friends/ family members die so don’t say anything about how I can’t relate). I cannot believe this woman called him a muderer. He didn’t have any intent to cause harm to anyone. This was an accident just like a driver may have an “accident” and kill someone while following all laws and being cautions and they would never go to jail for six months and have six months of house arrest. This case set a precedence for health care providers and it wasn’t a good one.

    The notion that a pharmacists duty is to be 100% accurate is ludacris. For example physicians aren’t expected to diagnose correctly 100% of the time why is there this double standard with pharmacy and with the health care field in general.

  7. Francis Diliberto
    Posted August 4, 2010 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    The Jerry’s say MURDER … be careful what you wish for .. punish yes .. a fine license suspension .. community service lectures … JAIL ? OHIO JUSTICE IS NUTS !! Who trained the Technician? … The Hospital mush carry some blame .. all too often I see Hospitals CUT COSTS … DANCE AROUND POLICIES POORLY WRITTEN … only to blame the Nurse, Pharmacist, Physician Interns/residents, etc.
    Not to sound TOO cold but were there any other comorbities attendant here given the delay to death of 3 days ? Was the Tech fired also?
    It is indeed very sad for a 2yr old baby to die, but an injustice to the Pharmacist here is NOT any way to handle this!!

  8. Posted November 27, 2010 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    This is my daughter Emily Jerry’s story, in detail that is very difficult to set down. But it’s a story that needs to be shared, both due to the medical tragedy that occurred and so we all can learn from this heartbreaking story. It is through this process we can ultimately improve America’s healthcare system by making it safer for everyone receiving medical care. Additionally, I want to come forward as Emily’s father and publicly forgive Eric Cropp, as well as, the pharmacy technician involved. I do believe, in my heart, they are part of this tragedy. Eric and the pharmacy technician are also victims of an ineffective patient safety system. Along those lines, I want everyone to know that I also feel very strongly that Eric should have never been charged criminally with what happened to my beautiful daughter Emily. The criminal charges that Eric faced, were pursued by the prosecutor’s office, as well as, my former wife, Kelly Jerry and her father Lloyd Buck. Due to the fact that there was absolutely no criminal intent on the part of Eric Cropp or the pharmacy technician, I chose to bow out of media spotlight during these legal proceedings. There was absolutely no malice shown by anyone involved the day Emily was accidently overdosed on sodium chloride. Subsequently, through my actions and how I now lead my life, I also wish to set an example of forgiveness and show how a terrible blow can induce a person to turn it to good works. I devote my time, fully, now to the work of The Emily Jerry Foundation (emilyjerryfoundation.org) and to my various public service activities. I am determined to get this story told and elevate the issues involved for the good of all.

    The Emily Jerry Foundation has been established on the premise that each and every child born into this world is truly a miracle. With that thought in mind, we believe that every child on this planet should be treated and cared for as such. Every baby that is born is truly a gift from God! The core of the Emily Jerry Foundation focuses on protecting our nation’s babies and children from the all too redundant medical errors that keep occurring over and over again in hospitals across the nation. These countless mistakes are killing our children and are most often avoidable. We are increasing public awareness of these issues and striving to get better legislation in place across the United States. The Emily Jerry Foundation is helping to save countless lives, as well as, make our world-renowned medical facilities much safer.

    Again, as Emily’s father, I would like one day be in a position to be able to publicly forgive Eric Cropp and the pharmacy technician on national television.

  9. Jessica Allen
    Posted November 30, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    This brings me to tears because I am in school for Pharmacy Tech and the main thing we learn is that MISTAKES=DEATH and I would not be able to live with myself is someone died due to my own mishap…..

  10. Trish
    Posted December 5, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Chris,….it’s Trish, we just met the other day in regards to your car.

    I finally got a chance to sit down and check out the site.
    I had no idea you lost your beautiful little girl, I am deeply sorry for this tragedy.

    I have to admire your strength in the face of something so devastating. Of course I’d heard the news stories, but I would never imagine a person like yourself having suffered such a blow….. and how admirable of you to focus your energies towards making something good/productive out of it.

    After I’d spoken with you and your lady the other day, I left thinking “Such nice people, what a refreshing ‘change of pace’ to the ‘folks’ I typically interact with during my work day! “. Now reading your story, I feel privileged to have met you.

    Godspeed..

    T.C.

  11. Posted December 8, 2010 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Hi Trish,

    Thank you, so much, for your kind words and for taking the time to visit The Emily Jerry Foundation’s website. It’s this kind of support, from people like yourself, that really helps keep me going on daily basis!

    Best regards,

    Chris

  12. Posted December 8, 2010 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Dear Francis,

    I just wanted to correct you on something that’s very important. I have never said that the pharmacist or pharmacy technician murdered my daughter Emily. My former wife Kelly Jerry, her father Lloyd Buck, and the prosecutor, Bill Mason, are the ones who actually pursued criminal charges against them. In a majority of these tragic cases, there is absolutely no malicious intent by the individual who actually makes the mistake. In my limited opinion, most people are really not cognisant of the fact that, in medicine, there will always be the “human error” component. With this thought in mind, I believe it’s wrong for our nation’s judicial system to charge these people who make these errors criminally. Subsequently, I truly believe that these individuals that have actually made these mistakes are part of the over all tragedy. In my opinion, these people are also victims of an ineffective patient safety system. In most cases, their lives are completely ruined as a result of what transpires after an accident occurs. Please get your facts straight next time Francis!

    Very best regards,

    Chris

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