Man Sues When Amputated Leg Turns Up in Trash

The Florida hospital isn't saying why the leg wasn't incinerated instead
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2015 7:48 AM CDT
Man Sues When Amputated Leg Turns Up in Trash
In this unrelated photo taken Dec. 22, 2014, a garbage collector empties a small residential garbage bin into his truck as larger yard waste and recycling bins stand behind in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

John Timiriasieff didn't think much about the whereabouts of his leg after it was amputated just below the knee last fall. Until homicide detectives came knocking, asking the 50-something man in Key Largo, Fla., what it was doing in the garbage—name tag and all. No one at Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables, where the surgery took place, had a good answer for Timiriasieff, reports the Miami Herald. "When we contacted the hospital, they claimed they could not give us any explanation for why or how this happened," his attorney says. The hospital did release a statement that reads, in part: "Proper procedures have been reinforced at the hospital to prevent similar situations from happening in the future."

But having one's limb turn up at a waste management facility is highly unusual—amputated body parts are typically incinerated—and Timiriasieff wasn't satisfied. He filed a lawsuit last week in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court claiming emotional distress. The hospital's conduct, the lawsuit said, was "outrageous and beyond the bounds of human decency as to be regarded as odious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community." Timiriasieff's lawyer tells Reuters that while he has "heard of people having the wrong limb removed ... hospitals aren't supposed to throw them away." (In the UK, one woman underwent a major breast surgery that turned out to be unnecessary.)

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