Testimony in nurse's license trial ends | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Testimony in nurse's license trial ends

MACHIAS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A registered nurse from Steuben fighting to keep his nursing license from being suspended testified Thursday as the case drew to a close.

In 2010, the state nursing board voted to suspend John Zablotny's license for two years. They were holding him responsible for discharging a heavily medicated patient and letting him leave the hospital on a New Year's Day snowstorm in 2008. The patient, 61-year-old Reid Emery, was found dead the next day not far from the hospital.

Zablontny teared up three times on the stand as he explained a play-by play of the two hours Zablotny interacted with Emery. His lawyer, Zablotny's attorney Joe Baldacci argued that his client clearly did not have the information he should have had about Mr. Emery.

"Zablotny was only on duty for an hour an 15 minutes and he was inheriting a situation that people didn't -- it's clear from the records that did not fully inform him about all of the background that he should have had," said Baldacci.

An autopsy showed Emery died from a mix of drugs and hypothermia.

Prosecutor Andrew Black countered with the inconsistencies between Zablotny's May 2010 testimony before the state board and his testimony in this trial.

Zablotny's attorney Joe Baldacci said his client was made the scapegoat and that other staff workers failed to give him the information he should have had about Emery.

The judge is allowing written closing arguments in this case. Attorneys will have those statements into the judge in about four weeks.

Lawyers believe the judge will make the decision on whether Zablotny can keep his nursing license by late fall.