Soldier Files Lawsuit After Receiving Tainted Injection - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Soldier Files Lawsuit After Receiving Tainted Injection

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A midstate soldier filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit in U.S. District Court after contracting fungal meningitis.

In August 2012, 24-year-old Joshua Kirkwood went to see a doctor for worsening lower back pain that started four years earlier while he was on active duty.

The doctor referred him to St. Thomas Neurosurgical Center, where on August 31st the lawsuit alleges he received a tainted epidural injection.

A few weeks later, in mid September, Kirkwood was deployed overseas. The lawsuit says that while St. Thomas knew its patients had received the tainted injections, Kirkwood was never informed that he was in danger.

It wasn't until October 1st, when his wife called to reschedule a second injection that she learned the office was closed due to a meningitis outbreak. The next day, October 2nd, Joshua Kirkwood began experiencing all of the symptoms of meningitis including headaches, stiffness in his neck and slurred speech.

He was evacuated to Germany to receive treatment, then to Walter Reed Medical Center, before coming to Vanderbilt.

More than a year after the injection, treatment and back surgery, Kirkwood continues to suffer from the effects of fungal meningitis according to documents.

He and his wife are suing for $7 million, far exceeding the caps already outlined by law. They say everyone from those associated with the New England Compounding Center to St. Thomas Hospital were negligent in providing care in what could have been avoided.


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