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Published: Tuesday, 11/19/2013

4 siblings dismissed from UTMC kidney suit

BY VANESSA McCRAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Four siblings of a woman who were part of a lawsuit filed against the University of Toledo Medical Center after a botched kidney transplant have been dismissed from the legal action.

The Court of Claims of Ohio in Columbus, in a decision dated Friday, dismissed from the suit four siblings of Sarah A. Fudacz. She was to have received a kidney from her younger brother Paul Fudacz, Jr., but instead the kidney was mistakenly thrown out during the August, 2012, transplant surgery at the former Medical College of Ohio.

Ms. Fudacz, her would-be donor, four other siblings, and their parents filed suit July 29.

UTMC sought to have the court dismiss the complaint, and specifically two parts: the parents’ loss of consortium and the siblings’ loss of consortium — damages that include loss of services, society, companionship, comfort, solace, and love.

The court ruled that Ms. Fudacz’s parents “have alleged sufficient facts to pursue a loss of consortium claim for their adult children, Sarah and Paul Jr.” and denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss that part of the suit.

The court, however, did dismiss from the suit the loss of consortium claim for four siblings — Christopher, Marie, John, and Joseph Fudacz. The court ruled those four siblings “no longer have a claim in this matter” and dismissed them from the case, saying “a claim for sibling loss of consortium has not been addressed by any Ohio court” and it “is bound by the outdated precedent of disallowing” such sibling claims. The court document was signed by Judge Dale Crawford.

Fudacz attorney Matthew Burkhart said the decision leaves four of the eight plaintiffs in the suit, and said they plan to appeal the decision to eliminate the four siblings “eventually.”

“It just affirms the right of the parents to be involved in this lawsuit and to attempt to prove the impact that UTMC’s mistakes had on the family as a whole, not just on Sarah and Paul, but obviously much broader than that,” Mr. Burkhart said.

Contact Vanessa McCray at: vmccray@theblade.com or 419-724-6056, or on Twitter @vanmccray.



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