UO student sues for meningitis misdiagnosis

A University of Oregon student filed a lawsuit on Thursday against a Eugene medical clinic for a misdiagnosis of the student’s meningitis case in 2015.

In 2015, the student, Christina Jenkins, checked in to the Oregon Medical Group Clinic on Crescent Avenue. The lawsuit says that “she had experienced a sudden onset of sore throat, body aches, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, sweats, headache, cough and congestion.” She was 19 at the time.

Jenkins’ mother specifically asked the physician’s assistant, Elizabeth A. Struble, to administer a test for meningitis. Struble administered a nasal swab test to check for the flu. Jenkins was later informed by Struble that she was suffering from a “viral syndrome” and instructed to rest and increase fluid intake, but according to the lawsuit, it was a misdiagnosis.

Jenkins then visited a different medical facility, where she was diagnosed with meningococcal disease and transferred to Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.

According to the lawsuit, Jenkins was left with a $500,000 medical bill from her time spent in the hospital. She also suffered from “permanent” damage to her heart and lungs, the lawsuit stated, and she also experienced emotional distress.  

Jenkins seeks a total of $3 million for both “economic damages” and “non-economic damages,” as well as any money spent on legal fees.
The 2015 meningitis outbreak killed another UO student, Lauren Jones, an 18-year-old Oregon Acrobatics and Tumbling student athlete.

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Desiree Bergstrom

Desiree Bergstrom