Michael O. Pitt obtained a defense verdict for an anesthesia pain management group in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The plaintiff had a series of stellate ganglion blocks for arm pain, which were performed by several anesthesia pain management physicians. After the last block, the plaintiff developed an infection and eventually osteomyelitis, which were diagnosed approximately seven weeks after the performance of the block. Ten days after the block was performed, the plaintiff presented to one of the anesthesia pain management physicians with pain complaints and a white blood cell count and ESR were ordered to rule out infection. The studies were negative. Two weeks later, the plaintiff presented to his family physician with continued complaints and was referred back to the anesthesia pain management group. He returned to the family physician three weeks later with continued complaints after failing to follow up with the anesthesia pain management physicians. The family physician eventually ordered an MRI and the infection and osteomyelitis were diagnosed. The plaintiff underwent a bone biopsy and was placed on IV antibiotics until the infection and osteomyelitis resolved.

Plaintiff alleged that the anesthesia pain management group and the family physicians delayed the diagnosis and failed to appropriately respond to plaintiff’s complaints. It was alleged that the plaintiff had ongoing neck pain as a result of the delayed diagnosis.

The defendants argued that they reacted appropriately to the plaintiff’s complaints and that any alleged delay did not cause any additional injury. After a one week trial, the jury rendered a verdict for all of the defendants after a very brief deliberation.