Jury Agrees: Doctor's Needle Gave Payson Man Meningitis

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A Payson resident says he developed meningitis four years ago after receiving an injection with an infected needle by a Valley doctor in a Valley medical center.

The man, contacted by telephone at his home, would offer no other information regarding the incident, except to say that Payson Regional Medical Center was not "in any way involved."

Gila County court records indicate that the man's civil lawsuit which was filed Nov. 15, 1999 and ended two weeks ago in his favor lists several defendants, including Payson Regional Medical Center.

According to Missy Spencer, the hospital's assistant CEO, the portion of the man's original lawsuit involving PRMC was "dismissed two years ago, very early on, due to lack of validity. So we weren't part of whatever happened."

Other defendants named in the suit were Medical Diagnostic Imaging Group, Dr. Gary N. Goralnik of Phoenix, and several other unnamed corporations and persons.

"I believe that several of the defendants had settled prior" to the jury trial which concluded Oct. 3, said a Gila County court clerk who asked not to be identified.

In that trial, she added, the defendants were the Medical Diagnostic Imaging Group and Goralnik. Judge Peter J. DeNinno ruled in favor of the man, awarding him full damages in the amount of $151,740.

Meningitis is an infection of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord caused by bacteria or viruses.

(Editor's note: Due to the circumstances of the man's illness and the cash award, the Roundup has chosen not to identify the Payson resident.)

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