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Irish Voice News
Suit Against Surgeon Proceeds
February 20, 2008
By Cahir O’Doherty
LIAM Cregan, 46, the husband of an Irish woman who died after a face-lift in New York in 2005, has heard that his multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Dr. Michael Evan Sachs will take a step forward this week with a conference to set a trail date on Thursday, February 21.
Kay Cregan, 42, from Croom, Co. Limerick, died after a botched operation performed by Sachs at his Manhattan clinic on March 14, 2005. Shortly after the operation Cregan collapsed in a recovery room of Sachs’ Manhattan clinic and died on St. Patrick’s Day after she was transferred to nearby St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital.
Sachs has New York State’s worst malpractice record, having been involved in more than 30 malpractice cases since 1995. Agnes Kelly, sister of the late Cregan, told the press that she didn’t believe her sister would have chosen Sachs had she known how often he had been sued in the past.
Cregan, a senior executive with Limerick City Council, paid Sachs $32,000 for her operation.
Thomas Moore, an Irish American attorney who specializes in medical malpractice cases, is suing on behalf of Liam Cregan and his two young sons. Moore recently told the press, “We will be looking for quite a bit of money. We are talking in the millions of dollars at least. Parental loss to children is regarded in cases such as this as a very significant matter.”
In the lawsuit Cregan’s husband accused Sachs of negligence, carelessness and gross indifference. The suit also names Dr. Madhavrao Subbarao, an anesthesiologist, and claims that both doctors failed Cregan at every step of her procedure.
In 2005 Cregan had secretly arranged to travel to New York for a facelift after reading a report in an Irish Sunday newspaper about a Carlow woman who had attended Sachs’ clinic. Cregan had wanted to surprise her husband with the surgery, agreeing to pay Sachs $32,000 for the operation, which included her accommodation after the operation to recuperate.
Cregan underwent the operation on March 14, 2005, but suffered a heart attack while in a recovery room at Sachs’s clinic. Sachs has denied Cregan’s death was his fault. His lawyer, Jay Butterman, said she suffered from an undiagnosed irregular heartbeat.
However, New York’s medical examiner ruled in May 2005 that Cregan’s operation was partly to blame for her death, and said she had no pre-existing condition that could have played a role in her death.
A spokesperson for the medical examiner said Cregan had died from “therapeutic complications” and that the surgery to her face, nose, lips and eyebrows was “a contributory factor in her death.” Butterman disputed these findings and claimed Sachs had operated “perfectly.”
Before her death Cregan had lived in Croom with her husband, a farmer and plumber, and their two sons, Brian, who was eight at the time of her death, and Eoghan, who was six.
After the conference to set a trial date gets under way on February 21, a judge will be appointed and a jury of six will decide the case. Depending on the verdict, the jury will be asked about monetary damages for the loss, with no upward limit.
It’s understood the damages will be assessed based on the loss of a wife and mother of two young children, coupled with the pain and suffering Cregan endured before her death.
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