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Bernie Mac's Widow Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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The wife of the late comedian Bernie Mac, Rhonda McCullough, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the comedian's dermatologist Rene M. Earles.

Rhonda claims that a few weeks before Mac's death in 2008, Dr. Earles failed to recognize any indications that Bernie had potential respiratory failure.

She alleges that when Bernie had gotten sick and seen his doctor, Earles kept him at the Chicago clinic for several hours, rather than calling an ambulance.

Earles denies the claims, saying that when he saw that Mac "appeared weak, had a low-grade fever and a rash," he was quick to take action.

After giving him an injection for a cold, he informed Mac's personal physician that he had been diagnosed with pneumonia and instructed Bernie to head to a hospital.

It does seem odd that he wouldn't call an ambulance for Bernie when he was THAT sick, but who knows what really happened.

We hope Bernie's widow gets some peace.

[Image via WENN.]

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19 comments to “Bernie Mac's Widow Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit”



  1. 1

    He went to a dermatologist for pneumonia? That seems very odd.



  2. 2

    "he was THAT sick?" a low-grade fever isn't THAT sick. and most of these celebrities don't want to be taken via ambulance because of the publicity it draws. and why would the dermatologist know anything about pneumonia? all they know is zits, wrinkles, botox, fillers, and dermabrasion. guess the money is drying up so let's find someone to sue.

  3. Bree says – reply to this


    3

    Remember when he was ill and you said it sounded like drugs?? To this day I find it so sick that you did not even apologize for accusing a genuinely sick man of taking drugs.



  4. 4

    Um who goes to a dermatologist when they are sick? If Bernie felt that sick why didn't he go straight to the emergency room to begin with. Something doesn't seem right with this senerio.



  5. 5

    this is very sad. I LOVED him!



  6. 6

    dermatologist for the rash most likely.



  7. 7

    It is not odd for a doctor to direct a patient to go to the hospital and not call an ambulance. This allows the patient time to go home and pick up some things. Also many of the patients then do not have to go through the ER and can go straight to a room. Also he had a rash, thus the reason for the dermatologist. Still is sad and horrific! Bernie Mac was phenomenal!



  8. 8

    What is "an injection for a cold"? I know of no such thing. As for the widow's getting some "peace," she wants instead a "piece" of someone's assets. Unfortunate. John Ritter's widow did it, David Carradine's did it…let's all sue sue sue! Nauseating. As if that doctor didn't care about his patient; I'm sure he did.



  9. 9

    Re: contrarianchick – Actually by a "shot" he meant antibiotics or a strong dose of vitamin C i believe.

    Anywho, How the hell can you sue a dermatologist for something that wasn't even related to that lol? Dermas are suppose to know about rashes/skin problems. If they saw a rash they probably assumed it was an allergic reaction or w/e..People are sue crazy



  10. 10

    Dermatologists don't just know about skin and rashes - they go to med school and do the same residency that internists do…they then go on for extra years of training (beyond an internist) to specialize in derm, just an FYI. That said, if a doctor told him to go to the hospital, by law that's probably all he needed to do.



  11. 11

    Why didn't his wife take him to the ER when she realized how sick he was? Seeing a dermatologist a few weeks before his death, does not tmake the Dermatologist liable for for anthing. In between those weeks, his wife should have taken action to make sure he was treated.



  12. 12

    i'm so sick of people suing doctors when someone dies or develops complications. i'm an RN and see this a lot. nothing is 100% and of course those doctors don't want anything bad to happen to you! but sometimes things don't work out well and people can't deal with it so they have to point the finger at someone. so the doctor tells you to go to the hospital right away, you don't go to the hospital right away, so let's sue the doctor. and what does the dermatologist have to do with anything? sure he/she may have learned about pneumonia back in med school and during residency, but how long ago was that? just like OXana going to the pediatrician for her "concussion."



  13. 13

    Poor guy! I really liked him! =[



  14. 14

    I'm sorry for her loss, but I think it's sick to try and make a profit from a loved one dying.



  15. 15

    You've got this completely and utterly bassackwards. Mac went to the dermatologist for skin issues. He was not well and when the derm asked about it, Mac told him he'd been given an injection "for a cold." The derm called Mac's doctor, who told the derm that Mac had, in fact, had pneumonia. BTW, Mac suffered from sarcoidosis, which causes respiratory problems, among other things. After hearing about the pneumonia, the derm advised Mac to go to a hospital, which he did.

    Completely baseless lawsuit - hope the courts toss it out.



  16. 16

    I am always suspicious when it takes someone this long to file a lawsuit. Why 2 years? It seems a stretch to me. Someone just wanting some cash. If Bernie was that sick why didn't his own wife make sure he got to a hospital? One has to wonder ya know.



  17. 17

    she waited this long to file a lawsuit? what is with women. they take forever to say something is wrong.



  18. 18

    Um, since when is a Dermatologist TAUGHT to look for signs of Pneumonia?!?! Even if he had some sort of dermatological condition for which he was seeking treatment, that Doctor has NOTHING to do with a RESPIRATORY problem!!! I'm sorry he died, but HUNDREDS of people die with Pneumonia EVERY YEAR–b/c it IS so hard to diagnose, until it gets worse… Sounds to me like his widow is a little bitter, and hard up for money…



  19. 19

    First of all, what kind of "injection" did they give him for a cold?? Colds are a virus and are not treatable with antibiotics. Second, the dermie didn't give the injection, Mac TOLD the dermie that his regular doc gave the injection. Evidenlty Mac was later taken to the ER via limosine. I don't know but it sounds to me like maybe his estate wasn't as big as his widow thought and she is looking to suppliment it with a nice fat settlement.