Patient too large for MRI machine sues Oregon hospital for $7M

Portland, Ore.-based Providence St. Vincent Medical Center has been hit with a $7 million lawsuit by a patient who alleges he was initially sent home from the hospital because he was too large to fit inside the facility's MRI machine, according to the Portland Business Journal.

Lawrence Jackson alleges in his medical negligence lawsuit that he was treated by Thomas Calverley, MD, at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center on Sept. 12, 2016. At that time, Mr. Jackson complained of mid-to-lower back pain, a sharp ache, a temperature of over 100 degrees, chills, appetite loss, and elevated pulse and blood pressure.

Dr. Calverley wanted to get an MRI of Mr. Jackson's back. However, Mr. Jackson alleges he was sent home after the physician realized Mr. Jackson would not fit in the hospital's MRI machine, according to the report.

Less than a week later, Mr. Jackson suffered a fall after his legs gave out and was taken by ambulance back to Providence St. Vincent. Dr. Calverley and a resident physician treated him in the emergency room. Mr. Jackson alleges he again complained of back pain.

Mr. Jackson's lab results indicated the possibility of an infection, and a neurologist found he was unable to move his legs, according to lawsuit. He was transferred to Oregon Health & Science University Hospital in Portland, where he received an MRI and was diagnosed with a low thoracic epidural abscess.

In his lawsuit, which was filed June 1, Mr. Jackson alleges his condition's progression and now his permanent paraplegia are a result of Providence St. Vincent's failure to transfer him on the date of his first visit to another hospital with a larger MRI machine.

Providence St. Vincent declined the Portland Business Journal's request for comment on the pending litigation.

Portland-based Oregon Emergency Physicians, which provides emergency physicians to Providence St. Vincent, is also named as a defendant in Mr. Jackson's lawsuit.

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