Epidural Steroid Injection Causes Infection, Chronic Pain and Eventually Suicide

Joel Burnette was just 40 years old with bipolar disorder and other mental health issues. He underwent a lumbar epidural steroid injection at a pain clinic to combat his back pain. The following week Burnette developed a lump at the epidural injection site. Burnette informed nurses at the pain clinic, and he was told by a nurse that this was not something to be concerned about. Days later, Burnette received a second epidural injection. After that second injection, Burnette developed an epidural abscess, deep tissue infection and MRSA meningitis and was diagnosed as having cauda equina syndrome, which left him with chronic pain, among other problems.

Cauda equina is a condition in which the nerves in the spine are compressed. MRSA meningitis is an uncommon disease that affects the lining around the brain and spinal cord. It can be fatal. MRSA alone is a bacterial infection that if not treated and eradicated by intense antibiotic treatment can be deadly. Burnette unfortunately later committed suicide

Burnette was survived by his parents who sued the anesthesiologist, Kimber Eubanks, M.D. and the pain clinic claiming that all were negligent in choosing not to identify the infection after the first injection and giving a second injection to an infected patient.

The case went to the jury, which entered its verdict for $2.88 million finding that Dr. Eubanks was 75% at fault and the clinic’s staff 25% responsible for Burnette’s death.

The Burnette family was represented by attorneys Scott E. Nutter, John M. Parisi and Daniel A. Singer.

Burnette v. Eubanks, No. 10 CV 11069 (Kan., Johnson Co. Dist. March 19, 2014).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical negligence cases, misdiagnosis cases, hospital negligence cases and nursing home abuse cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Lincolnshire, Hoffman Estates, Harvey, Golf, Barrington Hills, Brookfield, Markham, Maywood, River Forest, Prospect Heights, Tinley Park, Willow Springs, Joliet, Waukegan, Aurora, St. Charles, Brookfield, Bellwood, Bolingbrook, Bannockburn, Willow Springs, Wheaton, Hinsdale, Rolling Meadows, Arlington Heights, Antioch, Gurnee, Schaumburg, Franklin Park, Hickory Hills and Berwyn, Ill.

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