The Nov. 4 article “Court Upholds $14.2 Million Against UPMC” deals with the tragic and unnecessary loss of life of a young man. I sadly witnessed firsthand and shared in the anguish suffered by the Rettger family due to Michael’s untimely death. The article misses the mark widely by sensationalizing the jury award while ignoring the human tragedy.
Furthermore, the article presents a misleading and incomplete description of the facts of the case. As Michael’s treating physician, I was exonerated of fault by the unanimous decision of a 12-member jury based on more than a week of testimony, a fact that is not even mentioned in the article. The judgment was against UPMC and not any of the treating physicians. The appeal involved UPMC only.
In the past I have never spoken out publicly about this case in deference to the patient and family. I already defended my actions within a court of law. Now, in the face of incomplete reporting, I feel compelled to defend myself in the court of public opinion.
Throughout my career I have made the care and safety of my patients my first priority. This article leaves the reader with an incorrect impression. I leave it to the thousands of patients I have cared for, and thousands of nurses and physicians I have worked with over the past 22 years, to judge the truth of the matter.
EUGENE A. BONAROTI, M.D.