Date fixed for fatal surgery lawsuit

THE New York State Supreme Court yesterday fixed September 15 for the start of the multi-million-euro lawsuit taken by the husband and young sons of a Co Limerick woman who died after a facelift.

Kay Cregan, 42, who lived in Croom with husband Liam and sons Brian and Eoghan, underwent facial surgery at the Manhattan clinic of Dr Michael Sachs on March 14, 2005.

She died three days later at St Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, where she was rushed and placed on a life support machine.

During a brief hearing yesterday, Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam set September 15 for the commencement of proceedings.

A spokesman for lawyer, Thomas Moore, said the case may be put back some weeks on September 15 to appoint a judge and swear in a jury.

Dr Sachs has been involved in more than 30 malpractice cases since 1995.

When Ms Cregan travelled to his clinic she was unaware of a reputation which earned him the name “Dr Botch” in the New York media. She read about him in an Irish Sunday newspaper which did not refer to his appalling record.

His litany of botched operations forced the New York board of professional misconduct to impose restrictions on the kind of surgery he could carry out.

Kay Cregan paid Dr Sachs $32,000 (€21,000) and this included the use of an apartment for some days after the operation while her scars healed. She planned it as a surprise for her husband.

He only learned that she had gone to have plastic surgery when contacted by the Department of Foreign Affairs to tell him Kay was on a life support machine.

Mr Moore said: “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.”

The case will be decided by a six-person jury accompanied by three alternate jurors who can be called on if any or a number of the main jurors cannot continue for whatever reason.

If the jury finds against Dr Sachs they will then be asked to fix damages. Such cases in New York have no upper limit.

Damages would be assessed on the loss of a wife and mother of two young children coupled with the pain and suffering Kay endured before her death, her lawyer said.

While Dr Sachs is the main defendant, an anaesthetist and nurse are also named in the lawsuit.

Dr Sachs in recent weeks sold his luxury home in Manhattan to the Russian government for €24m.

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