Pharmacist's Family Sues Over Medford Massacre

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Originally published: June 19, 2012 1:01 PM
Updated: June 19, 2012 9:31 PM

By ZACHARY R. DOWDY AND WILLIAM MURPHY zachary.dowdy@newsday.com, william.murphy@newsday.com

A year to the day pharmacist Raymond Ferguson was shot to death in the Father's Day massacre at a Medford drugstore, his wife filed a wrongful death suit against Suffolk County, its police department, convicted killer David Laffer and three doctors who sold him thousands of painkillers.

Viedya Sabrina Ferguson filed the suit in State Supreme Court in Riverhead Tuesday on behalf of her husband, who was killed along with three others in the June 19, 2011, shootings and robbery at Haven Drugs, attorney Todd Greenberg of Forest Hills said.

It seeks unspecified monetary damages against Laffer, who shot all four people to death, Suffolk County and its police department, three doctors and Laffer's wife, Melinda Brady.

Laffer pleaded guilty in September to first-degree murder in the death of Ferguson, 45, of Centereach; 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 Taccettas and Mejias have also filed lawsuits in State Supreme Court.

Laffer was sentenced last November to life in prison without parole and his wife, Brady, who drove the getaway car, was sentenced to 25 years for her role.

The lawsuit also names as defendants Stan Xuhui Li, Eric Jacobson and Marc Kaufman, all physicians who, the suit claims, sold painkiller to Laffer. State records reviewed by Newsday earlier this year showed 30 of the 36 painkiller prescriptions filled by Laffer and Brady between January and June 2011 came from Kaufman, Jacobson or Li.

Attorneys for the three doctors could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The Suffolk County executive's office declined to comment. The Suffolk County Police Department said it does not comment on pending litigation.

Greenberg said in a statement that Suffolk County police were negligent for failing to confiscate Laffer's gun and revoke his gun license "after being called to Laffer's house on January 12, 2011, by Laffer's mother, who complained that Laffer stole money from her."

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