A state appeals court has again stymied families of the 2011 Medford pharmacy shooting victims who have been seeking damages from the doctors who supplied pain pills to the killer, David Laffer.
The pair of decisions issued this week by the Appellate Division Second Department in Brooklyn came in the suit filed by the widow of Haven Drugs pharmacist Raymond Ferguson, 45, of Centereach.
Ferguson was one of four people Laffer killed on June 19, 2011 while robbing the pharmacy of pills for himself and his wife, Melinda Brady. The others were: Jennifer Mejia, 17, of East Patchogue, a high school student who worked at the store; Jaime Taccetta, 33, of Farmingville, a customer; and Bryon Sheffield, 71, of Medford, a customer.
Laffer robbed the pharmacy of more than 10,000 pills, including powerful painkillers.
The families of all victims except Sheffield filed suits against Laffer and Brady and others, including doctors who the families say irresponsibly got the couple addicted to pills. But the appellate decisions say the doctors can’t be held responsible for what their patients did.
As it has in other suits, the court said the doctors didn’t know or have any responsibility to the shooting victims, nor was there any evidence that Laffer was impaired by pills when he killed the four people. The court also again disallowed the families’ attempts to obtain Laffer’s and Brady’s medical records, ruling they remain confidential.
Laffer pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and is serving life in prison without parole. Brady pleaded guilty to robbery and is serving 25 years.
One of Laffer’s doctors, Stan Xuhui Li, was convicted in 2014 of manslaughter in two other deaths and recklessly prescribing painkillers. He is serving 10 2⁄3 to 20 years in prison.
His appellate attorney, Raymond Belair of Manhattan, said the appeals court got it right in this case.
The Ferguson family’s attorney, Todd Greenberg of Queens, did not respond to requests for comment.