After a botched kidney transplant, a family has grounds to sue the University of Toledo on claims of medical negligence and malpractice. The case would be decided in civil court rather than criminal proceedings.
The case stems from a brother donating his kidney to his sister, but in the process of transferring the kidney, the staff at UT damaged the donated kidney, leading to the cancellation of the operation. Additionally, the incident in question led to the suspension of UT’s living kidney transplant program.
The particulars get messy because UT is a state institution. According to attorneys commenting on the case, the case would be heard in Claims Court and decided by a judge, rather than by a jury. The staff involved in the case would also not be named as defendants in the case because state employees are given a special immunity from such suits.
There is an off chance, however, that the judge in Claims Court will rule that the hospital in question does not possess such immunity, so the family may be filing in both civil and state court for their action.
There are no caps on awards for economic damages, but non-economic damages are capped at $250,000. However, the cap is raised to $500,000 in the case of catastrophic injury. Catastrophic injury is defined as leading to the loss of a limb or major organ in most cases. The loss of a kidney may qualify, either on the part of the donor or the intended recipient. It is unclear how state law will be applied in this case.
If the plaintiffs file in both courts, the judge in civil court will determine the merits of the case and whether state employees are eligible for immunity from suit before determining what further actions to take.