Patient sent home because he was ‘too large’ for MRI machine sues hospital for $7M

An Oregon patient who was sent home after he failed to fit in an MRI machine is suing a local hospital for $7 million, citing medical negligence as the reason he was left with permanent paraplegia, the Portland Business Journal reported this week.

The patient, Lawrence Jackson, said he was first treated for mid-to-lower back pain, sharp aches, a 100.4-degree temperature, high blood pressure, chills and appetite loss at Providence St. Vincent Hospital on Sept. 12, 2016. The attending physician on Jackson’s case suggested an MRI, according to the suit, but Jackson was sent home when he was too large to fit in the scanner.

Jackson was back in the ER within a week, unable to move his lower extremities. Lab tests and a trip to Oregon Health & Science University Hospital, where he could receive an MRI comfortably, eventually led to a diagnosis of a low thoracic epidural abscess and emergency surgery. Jackson now has permanent paraplegia.

The patient claims his disability is a direct result of Providence Health & Services neglecting to transfer him to a hospital with a larger MRI machine in a more timely manner, resulting in medical bills exceeding $1 million.

Read the Business Journal’s report and full lawsuit below.