Jury awards $3 million in man's sex death

A Gwinnett County jury on Tuesday awarded $3 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit to survivors of a 31-year-old husband and father of two who died while having sex one day before he was scheduled to have a heart stress test.

The unusual lawsuit arose after the Lawrenceville man died on March 12, 2009, while engaging in a threesome with a friend and a woman who was not his wife. It was not immediately clear in the verdict whether the patient's wife or his two sons stand to benefit from the judgment.

Plaintiff's lawyers Rod Edmond and Tricia Hoffler, who represented the estate of William Martinez, argued that a doctor at Cardiovascular Group in Lawrenceville failed to take a proper medical history when Martinez consulted him about chest pains that were radiating into his arm. That appointment occurred a week before Martinez died.

Martinez had high blood pressure and other tests showed he was at high risk of having clogged heart arteries.

The attending cardiologist, Dr. Sreenivasulu Gangasani, scheduled a stress test for eight days later, but failed to inform the patient to stop all physical activity until the test was completed, according to a press release issued by the plaintiff's law firm, Edmond & Lindsay in Atlanta.

Attorneys at the firm did not return calls seeking further comment Wednesday.

The verdict came late Tuesday at the close of a trial that began May 21 with Gwinnett County State Court Judge Joseph C. Iannazzone presiding. Jurors actually awarded Martinez's estate $5 million, but they also found Martinez to be 40 percent liable for his own death, reducing the verdict to $3 million.

"We’re definitely going to appeal the verdict and the judgment," said Gary Lovell Jr., who represented Gangasani and CardioVascular Group.