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Man claims he got cancer from liver transplant

A Cook County man is suing Rush University Medical Center for medical malpractice, alleging he received a liver with malignant cancer tissue during a transplant in May of 2011.

Johnny Sirbu, who claims he now has cancer as a result of the transplant, is seeking at least $250,000, according to the five-count lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court Thursday.

United Network for Organ Sharing — the Virginia-based donated organ provider, which furnished Sirbu’s new liver — is also named as a defendant in the court filing.

According to the suit, in the more-than-a-year since the operation, Sirbu continually consulted doctors as he suffered setbacks and worsening complications from the transplant, including a diagnosis of liver cancer.

Sirbu contends neither doctors nor the organ provider properly tested the liver before the transplant, the suit states. Doctors blamed abnormal test results in the months after the operation on Sirbu’s history of alcohol abuse, according to the court filing.

They also failed to recommend a second liver transplant during a crucial five-month window following the operation, the suit states.

Hospital officials said they could not immediately comment on the suit. Calls to Sirbu’s lawyer were not immediately returned Thursday.

The suit said Sirbu is disabled and suffers “mental anguish” and “great physical pain” as a result of the transplant complications. There is a possibility Sirbu may die from liver cancer, the suit stated.

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