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Thursday, December 28, 2006

NY Court of Appeals Ruling on Property in Organs

The New York Court of Appeals has issued its ruling in Colavito v. New York Organ Donor Network, Inc.  I described the case in a previous post:

Widow of deceased donor gave both of his kidneys to his friend who was suffering from end-stage renal disease.  One kidney was sent to Florida for implantation into donee, but doctors determined that the kidney was damaged.  The doctors then requested the second kidney, but were informed that it had already been implanted into another patient.  The intended donee sued on a number of theories.  The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants.  The Second Circuit affirmed summary judgment on plaintiff's fraud count but certified questions regarding the donee's ability to maintain a private action against the defendants to the New York Court of Appeals.  Judge Jacobs dissented from the certification, asserting that under the facts presented, the intended donee was only entitled to one kidney.

In its opinion, the NY Court of Appeals answered the certified question by holding that plaintiff did not have any claim to the other kidney.  Slate (here) and the NY Sun (here) both have articles about the case.

Ben Barros

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