MICHAEL D. HOLMES et al.
EASTERN MAINE MEDICAL CENTER et al.
Argued: April 10, 2019
P. Flynn, III, Esq. (orally), Flynn Law Office, LLC,
Bowdoinham, for appellants Michael D. and Debra A. Holmes
W. Gould, Esq. (orally), and Mariann Z. Malay, Esq., Gross,
Minsky & Mogul, P.A., Bangor, for appellees Eastern Maine
Medical Center and Michael St. Jean
G. Lavoie, Esq., Christopher C. Taintor, Esq. (orally), and
Joshua D. Hadiaris, Esq., Portland, for appellees Spectrum
Medical Group and Guillermo Olivos
SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and
Michael D. and Debra A. Holmes appeal from a summary judgment
entered by the Superior Court (Penobscot County,
Anderson, J.) in favor of Spectrum Medical Group and
one of its radiologists, Guillermo Olivos, M.D., on the
Holmeses' medical malpractice claims, as well as from the
court's judgment, entered on a jury verdict, for Eastern
Maine Medical Center (EMMC) and one of its surgeons, Michael
St. Jean, M.D., on those same claims. We affirm the
On August 14, 2012, a surgical oncologist at EMMC removed a
noncancerous polyp from Michael's colon. Michael was
discharged from EMMC four days later, on August 18, 2012.
On August 20, 2012, at approximately 5:00 p.m., Michael went
to the EMMC emergency department complaining of abdominal
pain. At 7:00 p.m., Michael was seen by the on-call
surgeon-St. Jean. Because he believed Michael was suffering
from a postoperative ileus,  St. Jean ordered a CT scan of
Michael's abdomen to rule out the possibility of active
bleeding or an anastomotic leak.
Michael had a CT scan taken of his abdomen at 9:30 p.m.
Approximately one hour later, a radiologist interpreted the
results of the CT scan and concluded that there was evidence
of moderate to severe abdominal ascites,  which were
"concerning for developing infection versus
phlegmonouschanges." The report was faxed to EMMC
at 10:37 p.m.
At approximately 8:00 the following morning, August 21, 2012,
Olivos reviewed the CT scan of Michael's abdomen taken
the previous night. In his report, Olivos identified pelvic
ascites, noted some dots of air in the ascites near the
liver, and also stated that "[t]here [were] no findings
to suggest an anastomotic leak."
At approximately 9:40 p.m. on August 21, 2012, Michael was
observed by a second surgeon-one of St. Jean's
partners-to have fast, shallow breathing, pain, and a
distended and tender abdomen; based on these symptoms, this
second surgeon determined that Michael's condition
warranted immediate exploratory surgery. She began the
surgery at 10:55 p.m. and, in the course of that surgery,
discovered a small anastomotic leak, which she believed had
infected the fluid and blood in the abdomen, causing
Michael's "septic state."
After this second surgery, Michael was hospitalized until
October 1, 2012. While hospitalized, Michael was intubated
for a prolonged period of time and eventually underwent a
tracheostomy. Michael also developed deep venous thrombosis