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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.

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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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31.

Lake    

Dude didn't "pass away," he done died. Kaput. Euphemisms are stupid. Every living thing has died or will. I'm doing so in 2012!

1349 days ago
32.

D    

A dermatologist still has to go through med school so they would know the obvious signs of serious distress such as the kind that Mr. Mac was experiencing. It is common medical knowledge that any physician, reagrdless of specialty, posesses. Therefore he should be held responsible for negligence.

1349 days ago
33.

BallaBlocka    

Just don't see the point in suing two years after his death, unless she's running out of money....

1349 days ago
34.

VIPTAMPA    

Sarcoidosis is an auto-immune disease that can affect any part of the body. Non-caseanting granulomas form in the tissues and disrupt normal functions. 90% of sufferers have it in their lungs, like Bernie did. Most patients have multiple sites. It can also involve the skin, brain, digestive, cardiac systems and eyes. Some times it flares then resolves , sometimes it's a constant disease. It's often mis-diagnosed as cancer. There are very few treatment options, surgery is sometimes necessary. The disease can be fatal. Blacks have a higher rate of skin involvement and it can be quite severe and disfiguring. Most sufferers see multiple doctors and their primary might the specialist treating the most active site. So Bernie seeking treatment for his sarc from his dermatologist while also coming down with pneumonia or a flare of pulmonary sarcodosis is understandable to me. Bernie was a great talent and greatly missed by all his fans. Mrs. Mac has lost her husband and their children lost their father. She has the legal right to pursue her suit, the court will decide if malpractice was involved.

1349 days ago
35.

Comanche_Black    

I still mourn Bernie. He was and will always be my favoties. Just wish he would have been able to be been with his loving family linger and continue to make movies. He was truly a great man.

1349 days ago
36.

Deedee    

Registered Nurse here.....
Dermatologists are NOT trained to recognize pneumonia.
Did the Mac-man (RIP) not leave her enough $$ to live large the rest of her life instead of coming forward with this BS lawsuit?

1349 days ago
37.

JD    

A dermatologist goes to 4 years of medical school, then a one year internship (typically in internal medicine), and then a dermatology residency. Your typical internal medicine doctor does 3 years of internal medicine residency, so a dermatologist has received less, not more, training in general medicine.

1348 days ago
38.

chitownattorney    

The $50,000 number is just the jurisdictional minimum to get the case into the Law Division of Cook County - they can still get millions of dollars, without having to ask for an exact amount. A win will result in much more than $50K, for sure.

1346 days ago
39.

Joe    

Dermatologists complete 4 years of medical school, 1 year of preliminary year that is usually internal medicine and 3 years of dermatology. As someone who worked 80 hours a week in internal mediicne hospital ward for a year straight with only two weeks of vacation before my derm training I am very comfortable with all aspects on pneumonia and it's relation to sarcoidosis.

The details of this case are very sparse and so we do not know who is right here, but I can assure you that I am very competent in all general hospital based medicine. We do not know whether the patient was on immunomdukator drugs that could have changed his reponse to a pneumonia or whehter his sarcoid often mimicked these same signs as it often affects the lungs primarily in addition to the skin. I just choose not to acknowledge this in public because I don't want a ton of questions unrelated to the derm disease at hand.

I don't know how a registered nurse can say that a derm is not trained in general medical issues like pneumonia other than sheer ignorance of dermatology training. Another little secret, never settle for anything less than a fully trained physician. Whehther you have a nurse practitioner or physician leading your care, you will still pay the same, it is only the government and insurance companies and hospitals that are saving money on your back. Good day.

1271 days ago
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