A Missouri woman who lived with a needle stuck in her back for nearly 7 years has been awarded a judgment worth more than half a million dollars. Claudia Ball of St. Louis County sued Dr. Catherine Doty and the Allied Physicians Group LLC in 2011 after the doctor left a hypodermic needle lodged in her back during a trigger point injection treatment 2 years earlier, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Doty and the Allied Physicians Group operated the Breakthrough Pain Relief Clinic in Chesterfield, where Ball was receiving treatment for degenerative discs. Ball, 62, initially tried to have the needled removed at Doty's office but the extraction was unsuccessful. Later attempts at removing the needle at nearby St. Luke's Hospital also proved unsuccessful, with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporting 5 failed attempts eventually resulted in the needle moving "6 inches toward her buttocks."
Ball accused the Doty of negligence, though court documents obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch show the office denied the allegations. The clinic has since closed down. Ryan Gavin, an attorney representing Doty and the Allied Physicians Group, told the New York Daily News Monday that he and his clients were planning to appeal the verdict.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, trigger point injection treatment methods are used to make trigger points inactive in order to provide symptomatic relief of skeletal muscle pain.
In the case of Ball's lodged needle, her attorneys tell the St. Louis Post-Dispatch it may remain "overly burdensome" to safely remove.