The widow of a man who died in 2005 after an ATV accident was awarded $6.7 million by a Maine jury in a medical malpractice lawsuit against Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. The man was flown to the center after the accident, and according to the lawsuit, the doctors failed to follow up on tests indicating internal bleeding, that ultimately led to the man’s death.
The man arrived at the hospital suffering from several broken ribs, among other injuries, and CT scans ordered by the emergency department physician indicated there was also internal bleeding. The doctors caring for the man failed to follow up on the internal bleeding by not issuing an order for X-rays to monitor the bleeding, according to the suit. Three days later, the internal bleeding caused one of the man’s lungs to collapse, and the lack of oxygen precipitated a massive fatal heart attack.
The jury found that Eastern Maine Medical Center, its doctors and nurses, and the lead physician were negligent in the man’s death.
The award most likely will be reduced due to a cap enacted by the Legislature, although the cap in place at the time of the man’s death will apply. Maine Medical Malpractice Case