A jury in Gwinnett County, Ga., has awarded $3 million to the widow of an Atlanta police officer who died while having three-way sex, finding that his doctor was negligent in not properly diagnosing and treating his heart condition.
The decision came in a medical malpractice case filed by Sugeidy Martinez, the widow of police officer William Martinez, against Dr. Sreenivasulu Gangasani of Lawrenceville, Ga., and the Cardiovascular Group, where Gangasani is a board-certified cardiologist, according to WXIA-TV.
According to court documents cited by the television station, William Martinez and a friend were having three-way sex with a woman who was not his wife at a hotel near Atlanta’s airport on March 12, 2009. Around 3 a.m., he fell off the bed and became unresponsive. EMTs couldn’t revive him and he was pronounced dead less than an hour later at a hospital.
The cause of death was determined to be atherosclerotic coronary artery disease, or hardening of the artery.
“The type of sex that he was engaged in is the type that’s totally unacceptable in our community,” said Rod Edmond, attorney for the Martinez family, WXIA reported. “But the fact of the matter is this man could have died running on the treadmill, running after a criminal.”
Martinez’s widow claimed Gangasani did not properly diagnose Martinez’s high blood pressure, chest pains, shortness of breath and irregular heartbeat, and that he did not order Martinez to avoid strenuous physical activity until more tests could be done.
On May 29, a Gwinnett County jury agreed, finding Gangasani negligent. But jurors also concluded that William Martinez was 40 percent responsible for his own death, and reduced the award to his widow from $5 million to $3 million, according to WXIA.
Gangasani’s attorney, Page Powell, told WXIA the verdict would be appealed. Powell said the Gangasani “did everything he could” to prevent Martinez’s death but Martinez had a history of not following his doctor’s orders, which included refraining from strenuous activity.
Martinez left behind his wife and two sons, ages 7 and 9.
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