Winterport man paralyzed in accident sues hospital, claiming medication put him to sleep

ByDonald L. Leech

Jul 4, 2022

A Winterport man paralyzed from the neck down in a 2020 crash while returning home from a Bangor ER visit has sued St. Joseph’s 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 in Penobscot County Superior Court last month, claiming they were negligent. The Quimbys are seeking unspecified compensatory damages because Jeffrey Quimby will require skilled nursing and personal care for the rest of his life, according to the lawsuit filed by New Gloucester attorney Benjamin Gideon.

A St. Joseph spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

Quimby, who was on disability due to back problems, went to St. Joseph’s emergency room on the evening of September 6, 2020, complaining that since stopping tramadol, an opioid painkiller, 48 hours earlier, he had tremors, muscle aches, nausea and vomiting, according to the complaint. He also reported abdominal pain and chest pressure.

After waiting three hours to see a doctor, Anderson diagnosed Quimby with opioid withdrawal, according to the complaint.

The doctor prescribed four medications, including one for nausea, allegedly without informing her that one of the side effects was drowsiness.

Quimby reportedly left the hospital around 2:48 a.m. on September 7, 2020, Labor Day, took one of the anti-nausea pills and headed home in his 2018 Kia.

Quimby fell asleep at the wheel and left the southern main road near the intersection of Orient Avenue in Hampden and hit a utility pole between 3:02 a.m. and 3:06 a.m.