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A man who says he was told by members of a Cedars- Sinai Medical Center organ transplant board that he cannot get a new kidney as long as he lives in slum conditions with ‘bedbugs and cockroaches’ sued his landlords Wednesday in a bid to force them to clean up his apartment.
He was told the transplant would not take place until the problems in the apartment building were fixed because the current conditions “would kill him if he tried to recover from surgery while living there,” the suit states.
Junior L. Fogg, 54, has end-stage renal failure and will die should he not get a transplant soon, according to his court papers.
Fogg and a woman identified in his Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit as his “partner,” Monica Howland, allege negligence, nuisance, breach of the implied warranty of habitability and intentional infliction of emotional distress by Dennis Wilder, Raymond Wong and Rita Wong.
The three defendants — who could not immediately be reached for comment — are the owners of the building in the 1900 block of Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles where Fogg lives, according to the complaint.
The suit states that bedbugs and cockroaches could cause Fogg to suffer from an infection while he recovers from a transplant. The complaint seeks unspecified damages and a court-ordered cleanup of Fogg’s unit and the building’s common areas.
The city cited the landlords in July 2015 because of conditions at the building, but nothing was done to correct the problems, the suit alleges.
Fogg has been on the United Network for Organ Sharing waiting list for a kidney transplant for 6 1/2 years and both UNOS and Cedars-Sinai rate him as an immediate candidate for a kidney transplant once a suitable donor becomes available, his suit states.
Cedars-Sinai gave Fogg $20,000 worth of medicine in 2016 in preparation for a transplant, but the operation had to be placed on hold in December because his doctors told Fogg that he lived in “unsafe housing due to the presence of vermin in his rental unit,” according to the lawsuit.
“Mr. Fogg’s doctors have made one thing clear, when Mr. Fogg lives in a habitable and vermin-free apartment, he will be placed back on the active waiting list for a kidney transplant,” the suit says. “Until then, he must wait.”
Fogg says he cannot leave his current home because he benefits from rent control and cannot afford to live elsewhere.
“In any event, there is no reason why Mr. Fogg should be forced out of his home of nearly two decades because the landlords have abdicated their duties as the property’s owners,” according to the complaint.
–City News Service
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