A man who said he was denied a new kidney transplant by members of a Cedars-Sinai Medical Center organ transplant board because of bedbugs in his apartment settled a lawsuit he filed against his landlords.
Junior L. Fogg, 56, and a woman identified in his Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit as his “partner,” Monica Howland, sued in January 2017, alleging negligence, nuisance, breach of the implied warranty of habitability and intentional infliction of emotional distress by defendants Dennis Wilder, Raymond Wong and Rita Wong. The three own the apartment building in the 1900 block of Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles where Fogg lives, according to the complaint.
Fogg’s attorney, Matthew Brinton, filed court papers July 20 stating that the case was resolved. No terms were divulged.
The suit stated that bedbugs and cockroaches could cause Fogg to suffer from an infection during recovery if he was to undergo a transplant. The complaint sought 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 alleged.
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 stated.
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.
He was further 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 stated.
Fogg has end-stage renal failure and will die should he not get a transplant soon, according to his court papers.
“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 stated. “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.