On Friday, May 28, a New York jury acquitted the NYU Medical Center of any wrongdoing in the tragic case of Vincent Liew, a Chinese immigrant who died from cancer a month after undergoing a kidney transplant at the hospital. Kimberly Liew’s medical malpractice lawsuit against NYU surgeon Thomas Diflo was also dismissed for lack of evidence that Diflo had shown any negligence prior to and following the transplant.
Liew, a Chinese immigrant, suffered from diabetes and when the opportunity for a kidney transplant arose, he took it, accepting the donation from a 50-year-old stroke victim. Dr. Diflo later learned that the organ donor had been afflicted with uterine cancer, unbeknownst to family and friends.
The medical malpractice suit alleged that the kidney should have never been used and after the cancer was discovered, should have been taken out immediately.
Diflo claimed that the kidney had appeared normal and that, in the normal course of things, it was the job of The New York Organ Donor Network to screen donors and ensure that donated organs were safe. After learning of the cancer, he spoke with Liew, who refused to have the kidney taken out, choosing to risk it instead.
It was a fatal decision, but one that Liew should have never been forced to make.
During the course of the trial, it was revealed that two additional patients had passed away following organ donations from the same stroke victim. One died following a kidney transplant, the other following a heart transplant. In both cases, the families received significant settlements.
In this case, Kimberly Liew walks away with nothing.