Iowa Woman Wins Settlement from UI Hospitals For Botched Kidney Transplant

A woman won $1.5 million settlement from the University of Iowa Hospitals after her pancreas was cut in a kidney transplant surgery.The University of Iowa Hospitals agreed to pay a $1.5 million settlement to end a medical malpractice lawsuit filed by a diabetic woman who claims surgeons mistakenly cut into her pancreas during a kidney transplant procedure, according to The Associated Press.

The victim, Nancy Kammerer, alleged that surgeons who performed the 2008 surgery cut into part of pancreas and that attempts to repair the tissue were unsuccessful, causing the organ to eventually be removed. As a result, the lawsuit claims Kammerer will likely be dependent on insulin medication for the rest of her life and has reportedly been forced to quit her job. The AP reports she is currently on a pump that provides her body with a continuous supply of insulin.

Kammerer, who suffers from type-1 diabetes, had her first kidney and pancreas transplant in 1985. Her body eventually rejected the kidney, although the pancreas still functioned, leading her to go through another kidney transplant in 2008.

Kammerer filed a medical malpractice in Johnson County naming three current and former UIHC doctors who were involved in her treatment. The hospital reportedly agreed to a settlement shortly after Kammerer's lawyers could seek additional evidence about whether a UI administrator attempted to influence the testimony of Dr. Craig Shadur – who treated the plaintiff – in its favor.

Three quarters of the settlement came from UI Physicians, while the remaining amount was covered by the state, according to the media outlet. In addition, although UIHC acknowledged in court that there had been complications during the surgery, it denied any liability under the settlement.

The pancreas produces insulin to regulate the body's blood sugar levels. For people with type 1 diabetes, the islet cells in the pancreas fail to produce insulin, leading many with the disease to receive either full or partial transplants, the American Diabetes Association reports.