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Lawsuits Filed Over Hepatitis C Transplant Infection

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Christina Mecannic and her life partner of 21 years, Michael Yocabet, have filed two separate lawsuits against UPMC, University of Pittsburgh Physicians, Drs. Henkie Tan, Mark Sturdevant, Jennifer L. Steel, Nirav Shah, Nurse Mimi Funovits, and others in the UPMC transplant program, alleging that doctors should have stopped a kidney transplant surgery when blood work showed the donor was infected with hepatitis C, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.

According to the lawsuits, Mecannic underwent surgery on April 6 to donate one of her kidneys to Yocabet. She found out a month later that she had hep C and had infected Yocabet through the transplant.

The lawsuit also alleges that a UPMC surgeon suggested that Mecannic not tell Yocabet about the infection. The suits also claim that UPMC had at least six opportunities to notice Mecannic’s infection. Instead, Mecannic received a letter on March 24 saying that she was a suitable donor.

UPMC shut down the transplant program for two months, but did not explain why. The hospital now says there are checks and balances in place to prevent these types of errors.

According to the lawsuits, UPMC charges $400,000 to $500,000 for a kidney transplant, and that they “placed a high priority on volume and profit.” disclaimer: This article: Lawsuits Filed Over Hepatitis C Transplant Infection was posted on Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 at 7:16 pm at and is filed under Medical Malpractice Lawsuits.

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