Ohio hospital fights suit over botched transplant
Saturday, September 07, 2013 4:30 PM
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- The University of Toledo Medical Center is fighting a wrongful dismissal lawsuit by a nurse fired after a botched kidney transplant.
The nurse, Melanie LeMay of Toledo, was fired after a viable kidney was thrown out before the transplant operation. She alleges her termination was based on violating policies and procedures that didn't exist on the day of the operation.
The medical center said the Ohio Court of Claims in Columbus lacks jurisdiction in the case.
The medical center, in a motion filed Thursday, claimed the court has no jurisdiction to enforce or interpret a collective bargaining agreement.
A different nurse accidentally threw away the kidney as medical waste during the procedure last year.
Sarah Fudacz, 25, was to receive her brother's kidney but awoke without having undergone surgery because a nurse had accidentally thrown it out.
Hospital staff had recovered the kidney from the trash, and Fudacz said she saw it sitting in an incubator-like box, contaminated with biowaste and no longer usable.
The hospital later helped the woman find a new kidney and pay for travel expenses to Colorado for the surgery, which was successful.
The Toledo family is suing the facility over the mistake, saying that it deeply affected their lives and continues to cause them pain. And they say the kidney Fudacz received in Colorado isn't a perfect match, meaning it will not last as long as her brother's would have.
In the months between her botched transplant surgery and the successful one, Fudacz said she had to have additional dialysis, four surgeries related to dialysis, and the stress and uncertainty over whether she would ever find a suitable kidney.
The hospital since has undergone internal and external reviews, clarified some procedures and temporarily suspended its live kidney donation program, which has since resumed.