FORT WORTH, Texas, Sept. 26 A Texas man has filed alawsuit against the billion-dollar medical technology company Medtronic Inc.(NYSE: MDT) for fraud and negligence in a "body-snatching" scheme that lefthim with a stolen piece of bone in his neck.
In addition to Minneapolis, Minn.-based Medtronic, the complaint filed inSupreme Court of the State of New York also names as defendants Memphis,Tenn.-based Sofamor Danek, Inc.; Knoxville, Tenn.-based SpinalgraftTechnologies, Inc.; Alachua, Fla.-based Regeneration Technologies, Inc.; FortLee, N.J.-based Biomedical Tissue Services, Ltd.; Michael Mastromarino andJoseph Nicelli.
In September 2005, doctors at Baylor All Saints Medical Center in FortWorth removed a portion of a cervical disc from James Livingston, 44, ofWeatherford, Texas, and replaced it with a bone graft supplied by RegenerationTechnologies.
Several months later, Regeneration Technologies recalled the transplantedbone due to its ties to a wider investigation into stolen and tainted bodyparts that made their way to hospitals around the country.
Since then, authorities have indicted the owner of Biomedical TissuesServices, former dentist Michael Mastromarino, 44, of Fort Lee, N.J., andseveral others on charges they removed bone and tissue from more than 1,000human bodies without the families' permission, and then sold the body partswithout proper screening for diseases such as HIV, hepatitis and cancer.
Mr. Livingston will continue to undergo testing to determine whether hehas contracted these or other diseases.
Biomedical Tissue Services sold bone and tissue to Medtronic, RegenerationTechnologies and Spinalgraft Technologies, which then sold them to hospitals.
"To say this is ghoulish or ghastly just isn't strong enough," saysattorney John David Hart of the Law Offices of John David Hart in Fort Worth,who represents Mr. Livingston. "This is an unconscionable example ofcorporate profit over patient safety."
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SOURCE The Law Offices of John David Hart