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Bernie Mac's Widow -- Death Was Skin Doctor's Fault!

8/6/2010 1:14 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Bernie Mac's widow is blaming her husband's death on the comedian's old dermatologist -- claiming the doc could have saved Bernie if he knew what he was doing.

0806_bernie_mac_wife_getty_BN2
According to docs filed last week in a Chicago Circuit Court -- Rhonda McCullough claims Dr. Rene Earles had a chance to save the comedian during a routine checkup ... but "failed to recognize and act upon abnormal vital signs and signs of respiratory failure."

According to the docs, McCullough claims Earles failed to properly diagnose Bernie with pneumonia and send the comic to the hospital ...  and according to her, the mistake directly led to the funnyman's death in August 2008.

Earles told the Chicago Sun-Times it ain't his fault -- he claims Bernie had a bad allergic reaction to another doctor's injection once the comedian was hospitalized.

McCullough wants at least $50,000 in damages in the wrongful death suit.

39 COMMENTS

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1.

Miss Tila Chlamydia OMGPOW!     

Whaaa? When did Bernie Mac die?

I seriously need to crawl out of my cave more often!

Dude was seriously illin'! Whatevz... RiP!!!

1357 days ago
2.

Um, wow...    

Is it just me, or would an average DERMATOLOGIST actually be capable of diagnosing PNEUMONIA?!?! Just curious... Sounds like a General Medicine/Doctor's arena, instead... But, with that being said, COUNTLESS people die from Pneumonia every year...It can be difficult on ANYONE--not just people with compromised immune systems...

1357 days ago
3.

PETETHEMEAT    

That's just sick. Suing the doctor. Messed up, ma'am.

1357 days ago
4.

hotbitch    

True, pneumonia can really kick your ass no matter who you are. But seriously, only $50,000??? I don't think she really has a case anyway but if you are gonna sue.......go big.

1357 days ago
5.

Superman    

A got news for you....a skin doctor isn't checking his vital signs!!!!!!!!!! He should have gone to the ER or seen a PCP if he had a fever and/or trouble breathing! A dermatologist is for skin disorders, not for overall health treatment. It's like going to a car body shop because your car is leaking oil. Take some personal responsibility for your own stupidity!

1357 days ago
6.

ragincajun79    

This woman is a whacko. No derm is going to check for pneumonia. Nice try bitch.

1357 days ago
7.

Celebrities Suck    

Michael Jackson is alive...

1357 days ago
8.

toaddy    

Um wow and others,
First...a dermatologist goes through 4 years of regular medical school with every other type of MD and during that time would definitely be taught on signs and symptoms of pneumonia...even nurses are taught this. It would only be during his/her specialization training that he/she would focus on skin diseases. So the reverse would be true you would not expect a general med doc to specialize in skin disorders, but you would certainly expect him to id a funky looking mole!!!! and send you on to a derm.
That being said if said dermatologist did not perform a physical exam he/she would have missed the red flags. However according to the TMZ post a physical exam was performed. Therefore the suit might be warranted. However, I have to agree that if you are not feeling well you don't go to a dermatologist!!!!!

1357 days ago
9.

gutsygirl    

It won't bring Bernie back. Move on.

1357 days ago
10.

Irka    

I gotta agree with toaddy on this one! Dermatology is a highly specialized field and is one of the highest paying medical fields. Therefore, a dermatologist goes through even more years of training after completing a medical degree than your average general medicine family doctor. A dermatologist is able to perform and identify everything a general physician can and then some and irregular vital signs or signs of a serious respiratory disorder should not be difficult for a dermatologist to identify. If what the majority of you are so far saying is true, that a dermatologist should not be required to recognize unstable vital signs or symptoms of pneumonia because they are not a general doc, then one could also argue that a certain cardiologist (*ahem* Murray), should not be required to know how to properly administer CPR since he is not a paramedic or an ER doc. Not to throw MJ into this topic, but just want to provide another somewhat relevant scenario.

RIP Bernie Mac!!! I still watch your show!

1357 days ago
11.

Sloane    

if he had a cough/fever/weakness/out of breath etc. why would he go to a dermatologist?

obviously he was seeing the dermatologist for something skin related and they probably didn't get into his general health concerns

and if they did I'm sure that a dermatologist would tell him or you to either go to emergency or get in to your family physician ASAP

I have has pneumonia-a dermatologist never entered my mind

just sayin'

1357 days ago
12.

Jill Conway    

Since when are dermatologists supposed to diagnose pneumonia? Does that mean we can go to a dermatologist for all our health issues? A dermatologist would not be looking for signs of pneumonia during a visit. Pneumonia can progress pretty fast, maybe Bernie was not real symptomatic when he saw his derma-Dr. I guess Bernie didn't leave the vulture, I mean his wife, enough money. Poor thing - hope she makes it....

1357 days ago
13.

123    

@ragincajun79 - Name calling is not necessary


I liked Bernie Mac. He was a funny dude...wish he was still with us.

1357 days ago
14.

Kelly    

50K only??? Miss you Bernie! You deserved better.

1357 days ago
15.

Chrissa    

If these black celebs (Bernie, MJ, Kanye's mom) sought the best doctor they could find--not just one who was black, maybe they'd still be alive.

1357 days ago
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