A Winterport man paralyzed from the neck down in a 2020 crash on his way home from a visit to a Bangor emergency room has sued St. Joseph Hospital and one of its doctors alleging that the treatment he received caused him to fall asleep at the wheel.
Jeffrey Quimby, now 60, and his wife Dawn Quimby, 56, sued the hospital and Dr. Christian Anderson last month in Penobscot County Superior Court claiming they were negligent. The Quimbys are seeking unspecified compensatory damages, as Jeffrey Quimby will require skilled nursing and personal care for the rest of his life, according to the complaint filed by attorney Benjamin Gideon of New Gloucester.
A spokesperson for St. Joseph did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.
Quimby, who was on disability due to back issues, went to St. Joseph’s emergency room on the evening of Sept. 6, 2020, complaining that since discontinuing Tramadol, an opioid painkiller, 48 hours earlier, he had been experiencing shakiness, muscle aches, nausea and vomiting, the complaint said. He also reported abdominal pain and chest pressure.
After waiting for three hours to see a physician, Anderson diagnosed Quimby with opioid withdrawal, according to the complaint.
The doctor prescribed four medications, including one for nausea, allegedly without informing him that one of the side effects was drowsiness.
Quimby allegedly left the hospital at about 2:48 a.m. on Sept. 7, 2020, which was Labor Day, took one of the anti-nausea pills and headed toward home in his 2018 Kia.
Quimby fell asleep at the wheel and went off Main Road South near the intersection of Orient Avenue in Hampden and struck a utility pole between 3:02 and 3:06 a.m.