A New York hospital that bungled a kidney-transplant procedure that led to the death of the intended recipient's sister took steps to pay up for the tragedy.
The Montefiore Medical Center in The Bronx reached out to a judge about a fast-track program that could quickly resolve an expected lawsuit from the family of Yolanda Medina.
The 41-year-old mom of three, who was trying to donate a kidney to her brother Roberto, died when her aorta was cut during the organ-harvesting operation.
If both Montefiore and the Medina family sign on to the fast-track program, the parties could reach a settlement through judge-mediated negotiations and avoid a painful and costly trial.
Medina family attorney Ben Rubinowitz said, "It's my understanding that Montefiore has approached Bronx Supreme Court Chief Administrative Judge Douglas McKeon about entering the fast-track program. We would be interested in something like that if it would work."
Roberto and his remaining sister, Edna, made an emotional visit to Yolanda's crypt at the Woodlawn Cemetery mausoleum in The Bronx on Sunday.
He said, "It's like a nightmare, but if it was up to me, I would be here 24/7. The three of us, the two sisters and me, were like one -- never separated. I think about her every single minute, every second."
The Medinas said they are sticking with Montefiore in the hope it can get Roberto a kidney—even though an effort last week fell apart at the 11th hour.
"We're not shutting the door on Montefiore. They still promised they were going to try to help us," according to Roberto's wife, Marybel.
The program being proposed by Montefiore could spare Yolanda's family—including her daughters, aged two, seven and 11—the uncertainty, stress and financial burden of protracted litigation.
A spokesman for Montefiore said the hospital "supports the early resolution of claims whenever possible" but would not confirm one was in the works with the Medinas.