The family of a Missouri man who took his own life, as a result of intense pain allegedly caused by the negligent administration of injections at a local clinic, was awarded $3 million in a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit.
The man, Joel Burnette, suffered from lower back pain, and sought treatment at a local pain clinic. After several injections over the course of a few months did not help, Burnette noticed a painful lump at the sight of the injection. The doctor informed him that some swelling was normal. He later returned for another injection and again asked about the lump, and again was told it was not a cause for concern. Soon after he was diagnosed with meningitis brought on by MRSA bacteria. "He lived, but his spinal nerves were permanently damaged and inflamed. He lost control of his bladder and bowels and became impotent. He could not walk without being in severe pain."
Burnette took his own life in 2013. His parents took over his case, which had still not been heard. Though $3 million was awarded, Missouri’s non-economic damages cap of $250,000 will reduce the total award to $1.67 million.