Everyone knows the case so far. The family has been making the rounds the last few days on The Blade, GMA, and other media outlets telling their story (probably to put pressure on UTMC to settle favorably). Personally, I feel bad for the two kids involved, Sarah and Paul Jr., and think they deserve to be compensated for the direct injuries they suffered. What puzzles me is that the parents and siblings are also suing the hospital for emotional distress and loss of consortium.
When does an adult family get a payout for bad things that happen to other adult family members like this, especially since the family members aren't deceased? I mean, if the siblings can sue for $250,000, why not the aunts, uncles, and cousins too?
My dime-store analysis: It just seems to me like the family is overreaching a bit on this one and turning a bad situation for two members of the family into a payday for 8 of them. This would also explain why UTMC would be reluctant to settle an obviously bad case for them. While UTMC might have no problem paying Sarah and Paul Jr. (and they did pay for their subsequent surgeries and travels), they might balk at paying out 6 other family members who have, at best, very legally questionable claims. It would also make sense that the family's lawyer would tell them that because this is such a headline-grabbing and emotionally stirring case, that UTMC will eventually settle with everyone, even the other family members, just to make the bad PR go away.
BTW, here is the link to the court of claim in Columbus if you want to read the actual court documents:
What is worth noting after reading the filings is that UTMC is only seeking to dismiss the claims by the parents and the siblings, not the entire case as was reported in many media outlets. Perhaps this is another attempt by the family lawyer pushing out the story to the media to portray UTMC as being cold and callous after a botched kidney transplant (or alternatively, lazy reporting)?
This is a story of sadness and massive incompetence. And it is always the lowest person on the totem pole who gets fired. No one wins here.
This is a very good legal question. Who deserves compensation and who doesn't? And, if so, how much?
I'd really like to see UTMC, formerly something else, do a pro-active search for another donor. It won't make what happened right, but the biggest concern is the person who still needs a kidney.
Hockeyfan: UTMC already found another donor kidney and paid for them to get the operation done in Colorado.
Thanks for pointing that out. I don't think the whole family needs to be compensated....but certainly , the brother who went through the operation to no avail, needs to be considered. And , I would hope that the doctor in charge would be called on the carpet by UT for loosing control of the ship. The buck does not stop at some lower level nurse or assistant.
And , I would hope that the doctor in charge would be called on the carpet by UT for loosing control of the ship.
I would think that losing his directorship last year would be pretty good punishment for something that a different, highly trained and experienced medical professional did in seconds while his attention was on closing. Surgeons are funny about looking at their work all the time while they are cutting and suturing people. Some even have their head stuck in the controls of the DaVinci surgical robot.
They aren't babysitting the room.
And as a family member of one of his kidney transplant patients, I can understand why. The guy is outstanding both technically and interpersonally. He's a brilliant doctor, and has done more good for organ donation on a national stage than many realize.
There is a reason that he is still at UT.
IMO, the only reason the rest of the family is jumping on the lawsuit bandwagon is because this is a state institution, the recovery that the donor and donee can get is limited to $250,000. If this was a private hospital, their recovery would probably be in the millions. But because this is a state hospital, recovery is limited per person, so the only way to get more money is to say more people were injured. Its a stretch, IMO, but I'm sure it puts more pressure on the hospital to settle.
Just read, thank you for that. So many people have no idea what goes on in an OR and just what is under the doctor's control. Nursing assignments are something they do not control. This was totally the nurse in question's fault, with the scheduling person, and any one else who ever covered up for her, at fault as well.
The whole family suing is a grab at taxpayer pockets and should not be allowed.
Thanks. It was an amazing experience to be standing in the pre-op room with him and my family members before the procedure.
He was simply outstanding. We knew everything, every step of the way. We were there throughout, and when my relative who gave the kidney first came out of surgery, she asked for me. I was in that post op unit immediately after the donation procedure.
Dr. Rees was clearly as attentive with the donor as he was with the recipient. They were both very, very protected and attended to with extreme care. The donor even had follow up care with Dr. Rees, just to make sure that everything was recovering and functioning normally.
During the procedure, we prayed. When it was over, and one of my relatives had saved the life of another, it was clear to all of us that a true miracle had occured. It was a profound and faith- affirming experience. And we all grew to admire and respect Dr. Rees and his masterful skill, amazing advocacy, education and outreach, his bedside manner, everything.
Our family feels that God worked through Dr. Rees that day. We always will.
So, on the other side of the coin, I can see why Paul Jr. is pissed off. He had the opposite experience, and I'll bet that it broke Dr. Rees' heart and changed him forever.
I can see why Sarah and Paul Jr. would be entitled to more than $25,000. As a person who could have been them, I'll bet that the internal family deal is that they pool the money for the good of the family.
Honestly, if you watched a movie that had this as its plot, you wouldn't believe it.
I'm typically not big on huge lawsuit payouts, but this is such a disaster, I say this should be a HUGE payout to the son who lost his kidney, to the daughter who needed a kidney, and to the parents who had to live through this nightmare.
The thing that amazes me is that no one at the high levels of the UTMC administration lost his job. People may say, "Well, they weren't directly involved. Yet, the fact that there apparently wasn't a process in place to prevent something like this from happening should be blamed directly on the people in charge.
Starr, there WAS a process in place, as evidenced by the fact that thru hundreds of kidney transplants, this had never happened before. The sad fact is, incompetence gets around processes all the time.
I should say that the process that was in place may not have been the proper one, which reflects on the administration.
I have a friend who works at the U of M hospital who tells me that if they have an in-house transplant (where the donor and recipient are both at U of M), the surgeon who removes the kidney doesn't let it out of his sight until it is delivered to the implant surgeon.
I say this should be a HUGE payout to the son who lost his kidney, to the daughter who needed a kidney, and to the parents who had to live through this nightmare.
Why are the parents due anything for the medical issues being faced by their adult children?
the surgeon who removes the kidney doesn't let it out of his sight until it is delivered to the implant surgeon.
While I kind of understand that, who is taking care of the donor and finishing their surgery while the surgeon has total attention focused on the kidney?
If the woman neding the kidney has one now, and it's functioning why do they deserve anything?
As for the donor....he was going to be out of a kidney anyway. These people probably were contacted by their local ambulance chasers and told they can get them a big payout.
Hard to say how much, but the brother's kidney would have lasted longer than the Colorado kidney, which was not as close of a match, naturally.
Sarah also had to undergo additional months of dialysis, which is extremely hard on the body and excrutiatingly uncomfortable.
Torture is a fair word for it.
Start taking somebody to dialysis, and see what I mean.