UPMC sued over COVID-19 test that canceled patient's wedding

UPMC faces a lawsuit filed by a patient whose incorrect COVID-19 diagnosis resulted in the cancellation of his summer 2020 wedding, The Tribune-Review reports.

Michael Martin filed suit June 21; UPMC Community Medicine, Primary Care Partners of Monroeville UPMC and the physician assistant who reported his COVID-19 test results are named. A UPMC spokesman told The Tribune-Review the system cannot comment on pending litigation.

Mr. Martin claims UPMC Community Medicine referred him to UPMC Mercy South Side for a COVID-19 test on July 22, 2020, when he called with symptoms of a 103-degree fever, trouble breathing and a sore throat. Mr. Martin claims he also went to the emergency room, where a rapid test showed he had strep throat. He said he received a dose of steroids and felt better.

The following day, Mr. Martin says the named physician assistant called and told him he tested positive for COVID-19. He alleges that the PA instructed him to cancel his Aug. 1 wedding. He did so, losing upward of $14,000, The Tribune-Review reports. The following day, the PA allegedly called Mr. Martin back to tell him she had read the test result incorrectly and Mr. Martin didn't have COVID-19. 

Mr. Martin told The Tribune-Review he sued partly to recoup some of the money he lost, but also to help ensure what happened doesn't occur again. "People don't want to own up to their responsibility that this happened," he said. "This error, she read the screen wrong. You diagnosed me incorrectly, and it caused me this turmoil."

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