A California medical malpractice lawsuit filed on December 7, 2017 in the Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of Sacramento alleges that the defendants transplanted into the plaintiff a pancreas and kidney from a donor who had metastatic cancer, resulting in the plaintiff developing cancer.
The California medical malpractice plaintiff’s lawsuit alleges that the defendants “negligently and carelessly failed to properly insure that transplanted pancreas and kidney were properly and competently examined for condition and existing disease before they were provided and implanted into the plaintiffs body on June 4, 2016. Said defendants failed to screen and properly vet the donor of said organs and the organs themselves.”
The California medical malpractice plaintiff further alleges, “Subsequently it was learned by defendants, and each of them, that organs from the same donor as with plaintiff had been also implanted into two patients other than plaintiff who, because said organs were cancerous, expired as a result. The common donor apparently died of metastasized cancer. Rather than then promptly explanting the pancreas and kidney upon learning of these deaths, defendants waited months to do so. On December 17, 2016, plaintiff finally had further surgery to explant said transplanted organs. Pathology then determined that the pancreas was cancerous, that the kidney was not, and the pancreas cancer had spread to adjacent organs requiring the removal of a fallopian tube, lymph nodes, an ovary and bowel tissue which had become cancerous.”
The plaintiff alleges that the defendants “negligently failed to conform to the medical standard of care in the state of California both with respect to the care and treatment rendered to plaintiff and with respect to providing to plaintiff information about the risks and hazards, or other harmful consequences, that might follow from the treatment, diagnosis or surgery the defendants, and each of them, planned for plaintiff; without careful screening and selection of donors for transplants and inspection of the organs to be transplanted for suitability and free from disease.”
As a result of the defendants’ alleged medical negligence, the plaintiff claims that she “has been deprived of successful transplants, has had cancer introduced into her body, has increased diabetic symptoms, requires dialysis, and has lost her position on the transplant list.”
In our January 9, 2015 blog, we reported on an unpublished opinion released on November 29, 2014 by the Minnesota Court of Appeals that overturned the lower court’s dismissal of a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit involving the transplantation of a pancreas from a donor who unknowingly had cancer into a woman who subsequently contracted cancer from the diseased pancreas and died. The lower court had determined as a matter of law that it was not foreseeable that the decedent would contract cancer from a transplanted organ and thus the defendant doctor did not breach the standard of care, and the alleged breach was not the proximate cause of the decedent’s death.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the lower court erred when it determined that the defendant doctor did not violate the standard of care because it was not foreseeable that the donor had T-cell lymphoma, in light of the plaintiff’s expert affidavit that the defendant doctor breached the standard of care by accepting the donor’s pancreas because it could not be confirmed that the donor had bacterial meningitis (from which she was thought to have died), and there was a risk that the donor had viral meningitis or some other illness that would make the pancreas unsuitable for transplantation.
If you or a loved one suffered serious injury or other harms as a result of medical negligence involving an organ transplant in the United States, you should promptly consult with a transplant malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your transplant malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice transplant case, if appropriate.
Visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find transplant malpractice lawyers in your state who may assist you.
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