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University of California settles liver transplant suits for $7.5 million

The UCI Medical Center will spend $7.5 million to settle 35 claims from patients who waited to receive livers from a facility that couldn’t provide the transplants. The UCI Medical Center frequently had to turn down livers that it was offered because it didn’t have the staff to perform the liver transplant procedures. In one case, a 65 year old man who died, even though he was in the hospital, ready for surgery, and had an organ specifically donated to him. Although the hospital records indicated that he was too sick to have the operation, the actual reason he did not receive the transplant was because there was no surgeon available to perform the procedure. When the liver transplant program was closed in 2005, the facility had not had a full-time liver surgeon on site for over a year.

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