TOLEDO, Ohio – The University of Toledo Medical center is asking a state court to dismiss a lawsuit despite admitting that one of its nurses threw away a teen’s kidney before it could be transplanted into his sister last year. UTMC is claiming that they were not medically negligent.
“They are admitting they threw the kidney away, but they are not admitting substandard medical care,” Fudacz family lawyer James E. Arnold told ABCNews.com.
“They must think that it is within standard care to throw a kidney away,” Arnold said. “It would be more decent to admit substandard care, and the family shouldn’t have to be going through litigation to prove it. It’s obvious to everyone but the university — in all fairness.”
In August of last year, 24-year-old Sarah Fudacz was on the operating table end-state renal failure. She was under anesthesia and prepared to receive a perfectly matched kidney from her 17-year-old brother, Paul. However, a nurse accidentally tossed the donor organ into the trash according to legal papers. Doctors were unable to resuscitate the kidney. The hospital subsequently suspended its live donor program after a state investigation.
In the months between her failed surgery and the one in Denver, Sarah “suffered through painful dialysis, four painful surgeries … and was forced to live through the uncertainty of whether she would ever find a kidney suitable for transplant before dying,” the family has alleged in its lawsuit.
Despite this, and the fact that the young boy had a kidney removed, the hospital is denying claims by the family to recover damages for pain and suffering: $25,000 each, according to the lawsuit.
The hospital eventually found a suitable donor and Sarah received a kidney transplant.