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Saturday, May 4, 2024

Three-Way Sex, An Unhealthy Cop, and a Ridiculous Lawsuit

     William Martinez, an Atlanta police officer who lived in Lawrenceville, Georgia with his wife Sugeidy and their seven and nine-year-old sons, wasn't feeling well. While only 31 Mr. Martinez had a history of high blood pressure and had been told by doctors he was at risk for clogged arteries. After experiencing shortness of breath and chest pains that radiated into his arms, Martinez, on March 5, 2009, made an appointment with Dr. Sreenivasulu Gangasani at the Cardiovascular Group in Lawrenceville. The physician examined Martinez and scheduled a stress test to be conducted eight days later.

     At three in the morning of March 12, 2009, the day before his stress test, William Martinez and a male friend were in an Atlanta airport motel having a threesome with a woman. When in the throes of this activity Mr. Martinez rolled off the bed and became unresponsive. One of his sex partners called 911.

     EMT responders failed to revive Mr. Martinez at the motel. A short time later he was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. The officer died of atheroschlerotic coronary artery disease (hardening of the arteries).

     A few months after Mr. Martinez's death from sexual exertion at the Atlanta motel his widow sued Dr. Gangasani and the Cardiovascular Group for malpractice. According to the plaintiff the heart doctor had failed to warn Martinez that strenuous physical activity might kill him.

     The doctor's attorney, Gary Lovell Jr., argued that Mr. Martinez, a man who knew he had a bad heart and had a history of ignoring doctors' orders, was solely responsible for his own death. Instead of administering his own stress test in the motel room, Mr. Martinez should have waited for the treadmill version at the cardiovascular facility. While walking on a treadmill at the medical center might not have been as exciting as 3-way sex, it was less stressful and a lot safer. If Mr. Martinez was smart enough to be an Atlanta police officer he should have known this. (With his poor health why was he a cop? Did he have a desk job?)

     The Martinez malpractice case went to trial on May 21, 2012. Eight days later the Gwinnett County jury awarded the widow $3 million. The damages would have been $5 million had the jury not found Mr. Martinez 40 percent liable for his own demise.

     Apportioning personal responsibility in this case involved an interesting calculation that begged the question: exactly how did the jury come up with that percentage?  Dr. Gangasani did not cause Mr. Martinez's heart condition nor did he give the patient permission to have a middle-of-the-night sex orgy. Dr. Gangasani was a heart specialist, not a life coach. 

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