Queens NY Med Mal UPDATE: NYU Medical not liable for cancerous kidney transplant

Queens NY Med Mal UPDATE: NYU Medical not liable for cancerous kidney transplant


06/04/2010 // West Palm Beach, Florida, USA // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

Queens, NY—A jury found NYU Medical Center not liable for the death of a patient nearly eight years ago. The verdict was announced Friday, May 28, 2010, stemming from a medical malpractice lawsuit filed with regard to a kidney transplant gone wrong, as reported by New York Daily News and previous coverage by Justice News Flash.

While Kimberly Liew, 46, lost the lingering medical malpractice trial, she felt relieved that she had fulfilled a promise made to her late husband, Vincent. “I have a very heavy burden since his death… He said, ‘Please let people know what happened to me so they don’t go through this,’” Liew added.

In February 2002, Vincent Liew received a call from a nurse at NYU Medical Center, informing him that he would finally be able to undergo a much needed kidney transplant. Vincent, who initially suffered from diabetes-induced kidney damage, had been on the waiting list for approximately five years.

However, Liew’s condition did not improve after the February 24, 2002 operation. After the transplant, Kim recalled her husband screaming, “This is my body… I want this organ out of my body.” Seemingly unable to handle the excruciating pain, Vincent had the kidney removed in August 2002.

According to the New York Organ Donor Network, the donor was an upstate woman who died of uterine cancer. The kidney, which was allegedly “covered in tumors”, was then transplanted into 37-year-old Vincent Liew.

The couple was then notified that Vincent had contracted uterine cancer, a deadly ailment usually limited to women. NYU doctors reportedly asserted the chance of Liew contracting the uterine cancer was a less than one percent chance, given that he did not have a uterus.

Nonetheless, Liew sadly died in September 2002. An autopsy revealed his cause of death was indeed uterine cancer, originally found on the transplanted kidney.

The trail began May 18, 2010, accusing a Harvard-educated specialist in organ transplant at NYU Medical Center, Dr. Thomas Diflo, of medical negligence. The suit initially sought out $3 million in damages, though Liew maintained the case was not about the money.

Dr. Diflo reportedly testified that he made it clear there were risks associated with the operation. Liew, on the other hand, contested such allegations.

Nonetheless, Liew stated, “His wish has been accomplished; that is the most important thing. Donor organs and doctors will be more careful… patients will be more educated. I believe that… There’s nobody to be blamed for this… It was hard for [surgeon Thomas Diflo] and hard for me. I sent him a card, saying I forgive him… I forgave him eight years ago. Letting go is all I can do now.”

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for New York Medical Malpractice Lawyers.

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