AUBURN — A settlement has been reached in a suit filed by a Poland man who claimed that doctors from Central Maine Medical Center were negligent in diagnosing and treating his cancer.

Michael Whittier, through his attorney, Ben Gideon, reached a settlement for an undisclosed amount of money Wednesday night.

A trial got underway Monday in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn where jurors heard evidence for several days.

The suit had been filed on behalf of Whittier and his wife, Nancy.

“I can tell you that my clients were satisfied with the settlement,” Gideon said Friday, “and we were able to accomplish our goal in the courtroom of demonstrating the strength of our case, which I think was quite overwhelming in favor of my clients. What they set out to allege was being proven in the courtroom, which in my view is why the case was able to be settled.”

Whittier and his wife claimed a doctor at the hospital’s Mechanic Falls clinic examined Whittier in 2016 and noted he suffered from an enlarged prostate.


Follow-up laboratory testing at a different hospital revealed levels that were “dangerously high and suggests a high risk of prostate cancer,” according to a civil complaint.

Those notes and results were conveyed to the CMMC clinic in late January 2016, the complaint said, but the hospital failed to report the test results to Whittier, order any follow-up testing or evaluation, or refer Whittier to a urologist, the complaint said.

More than a year later, Whittier went to the same doctor for his annual physical. Medical records noted the continued enlargement of his prostate and his past lab results with a plan to recheck those results with repeated lab work.

“Despite actual knowledge that Whittier had now carried a dangerous (Prostate Specific Antigen) result for more than a year, CMMC did not order or perform any follow-up testing or evaluation or refer Whittier to a urologist. Indeed, CMMC, through its statements and conduct, led Whittier to believe that his PSA test results were normal and required no additional follow up,” according to the complaint.

The hospital closed its Mechanic Falls clinic and referred Whittier to its Auburn location, where Whittier continued to go for annual examinations through 2020, the complaint said.

“During this time, CMMC upgraded its electronic medical record system. During the upgrade, CMMC negligently failed to import certain prior laboratory results, including Whittier’s 2016 PSA test result, into the test results dashboard of its new electronic medical records system,” according to the complaint.


The hospital’s apparent failure to “properly (import) these tests results continued until 2020, depriving doctors of the key laboratory and test results necessary to properly evaluate and treat its patients,” the complaint said.

“As a result of CMMC’s continuing negligence and acts of concealment during 2017-2020, although CMMC was aware of the elevated PSA results from 2017 to 2020, it failed to report those results to Whittier, order follow-up evaluation or testing or refer him to a urologist, including during in-person or telephonic visits” three times in 2018, twice in 2019 and once in 2020, the complaint said.

In May 2020, Whittier had a telehealth visit with a different CMMC doctor who noted Whittier’s then-out-of-state doctor had notified him of his elevated PSA levels in lab results.

The CMMC doctor referred Whittier to a urologist, who ordered a biopsy that came back positive for prostate cancer, the complaint said.

In 2021, Whittier underwent a surgery to remove part or all of his prostate, but the cancer had spread beyond his prostate, the complaint said.

A medical consultant for Whittier reviewed the case and found that his CMMC doctors had, on several occasions, deviated from the standard of medical care in failing to inform themselves of his complete medical history before each examination and following through with testing.

In his complaint, Whittier claimed medical malpractice, fraudulent concealment, continuing negligent treatment and Nancy Whittier’s loss of care, comfort and companionship of her husband.

“We’re very appreciative of the jury,” Gideon said, “because they sat through the case, attentively, for multiple days and heard a lot of detailed testimony. … We thank them for doing that.”

It was not disclosed how much the Whittiers sought in damages. Gideon referred to the damages agreed on in the settlement as “not an insignificant amount.”

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