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Meningitis victim takes own life–jury cites negligent doctor, clinic

In what has proven to be one of the more bitter sweet verdicts of fungal meningitis in recent times, a family from Overland Park, Kansas was awarded nearly $3 million in a medical malpractice case against a pain clinic.

The victim has been described a prideful, hardworking young man who fought the pain with stoic silence. Friends and family say that he initially lost a lot of weight, then he began holding his lower back and abnormally limping, but that he would usually just stop what he was doing for a moment with a grimacing look on his face and then get right back to it without saying a word. 

The man worked at a hometown tavern where many people in the community would come to see him. Records from court show that the debilitating pain came from a steroid injection that eventually developed into meningitis, as well as a chronic nerve disorder present deep within the lower spine. The victim's parents tearfully argued in court that the pain their son endured eventually caused him to take his own like in 2013.

The family's attorney told reporters that it was clear that the administering physician was negligent and the clinic that hired the physician was also negligent. The judge and jury both agreed. The Johnson County, Kansas jury awarded the man's parents $2.88 million for pain, suffering, loss of quality of life, and wrongful death of their son. The jury came to the conclusion that the victim developed the meningitis after the first injection, but that he was injected a second time despite the infection.

In a brief statement after the verdict, the victim's beleaguered parents told reporters that they hope the case raises awareness of the danger of pain injections and that clinics around the country change their policies so that atrocities such as this no longer take place. "We do not want what happened to our son to happen to anyone else," they said.

Source: Fox News, "Johnson Co. jury awards $2.88 million to family for son's suffering, wrongful death in malpractice case" 14 April 2014

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