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Liver Families Sue N.Y. Hospital

Apr 22, 2002 | AP

The families of two men who died during liver transplant surgery sued Mount Sinai Hospital, accusing its staff of gross negligence.

The wrongful death lawsuits, which seek unspecified damages, were filed by the families of Michael Hurewitz, 57, and Rabbi Jeffrey Wartenberg, 62. Wartenberg was a transplant recipient; Hurewitz was a donor. Both died in January.

The lawsuits accuse Mount Sinai and its staff of "reckless, outrageous and grossly negligent" treatment that constituted "depraved indifference to human life."

Last month, state health officials barred the hospital from performing partial-liver transplants involving live donors for six months after concluding Hurewitz had received inadequate care. The hospital was fined $48,000 on 18 violations.

Mount Sinai officials said Monday they don't comment on pending litigation due to patient confidentiality. The hospital has performed 2,100 liver transplants since 1988, 178 involving living donors.

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