Nurse battling license revocation after '08 patient death | News

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Nurse battling license revocation after '08 patient death

MACHIAS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A registered nurse from downeast Maine continues to fight in the courts to overturn a ruling by a state board to revoke his license.

The state board of licensure revoked John Zablotny's license in 2010, citing his handling of a patient who died after leaving the Downeast Community Hospital on New Years Day of 2008.

Zablotny was a nursing supervisor at the hospital. It was on Jan. 1, 2008 that he discharged 61-year-old Reid Emery from the hospital. Emery left during a heavy snowstorm wearing light clothing and while he was heavily medicated. He was found dead in a snowbank outside the hospital the next day.

In opening statements, Prosecutor Andrew Black called this "a healthcare nightmare" and said Zablotny callous disregard led to Emery's death.

Defense attorney Joe Baldacci said Zablotny tried to talk Emery out of leaving. He told the court that despite showing agitation, Emery also showed competence. He said that while Emery told other staff members he wanted to kill himself , he didn't tell Zablotny.

While on the stand, Black peppered Zablotny with questions. Zablotny repeatedly asked for clarifications.

According to Baldacci, Zablotny was a scapegoat for the hospital.

Black will likely bring in witnesses with a nursing background to discuss moral and ethical responsibility of a nurse. Baldacci will be calling to the stand employees that worked with Mr. Zablotny in that shift.

The hearing will continue into midweek.