Tuesday, July 29, 2014 Headlines & Global News

Nurse Fired Over Kidney Transplant Case Sues UTMC for Moral Damages

By Julie S | Aug 04, 2013 05:27 AM EDT

People who often work the night shift, such as medical professionals, could be at risk of irreversible brain damage.
People who often work the night shift, such as medical professionals, could be at risk of irreversible brain damage. (Photo : Reuters)

A year ago, a nearly 30-year nurse of University of Toledo Medical Center (UTMC) was discharged from duties after accidentally discarding a kidney intended for a transplant.

That same nurse, Melanie Lemay of East Toledo, sued UTMC for wrongful discharge, defamation, slander, and libel.

The complaint was filed on Friday in the Ohio Court of Claims in Columbus. Her husband, Patrick Lemay, is also one of the plaintiffs, as reported by the Toledo Blade.

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University of Toledo spokesperson, Tobin Klinger refused to comment about the issue because the litigation is still pending.

Nurse Lemay was working alongside Judith K. Moore, who worked part-time when the incident happened in August 10, 2012. Ms. Moore resigned while Mrs. Lemay was fired.

A week ago, Sarah A. Fudacz, who was supposedly the recipient of the kidney and her brother who donated the kidney, Paul Fudacz, together with their family, filed a separate lawsuit in the Court of Claims.

Vesper C. Williams II, attorney for the Lemay couple said that the lawsuits are not related.

According to the complaint, Mrs. Lemay asks for damages in excess of $25,000 which includes compensation and punitive damages.

The complaint claims Mrs. Lemay was wrongfully discharged and that as a result of the publicized incident, she endured “defamation, slander, and liber…[and] damage to her reputation and been exposed to public shame and disgrace affecting her daily life.”

Mr. Williams answer to whether Mrs. Lemay wants to work there again was, “It’d be nice. Something. Because she was only six months from the ability to retire. By getting fired, she lost the ability to get the next six months in and lost her health insurance after 30 days, and she was the primary breadwinner.”

Subsequently, she dealt with depression and other difficulties “associated with being wrongfully discharged,” Mr. Williams added. “With no insurance, she had to pay for treatment herself.”

"It's quite a kick, and they tried to blame everything on her," Mr. Williams said.

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