Families whose loved ones died waiting for a transplant at Houston hospital move to preserve evidence

Insurance company Blue Cross, Blue Shield discusses contract with Memorial Hermann care givers

HOUSTON – Families of three patients who died waiting for a liver transplant at Memorial Hermann Hospital are asking the court to move quickly and make sure evidence is preserved.

The request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) says there’s significant concern that Dr. John S. Bynon, was “improperly excluding patients” including their family members, “from receiving a liver transplant and depriving them of lifesaving care.”

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The families of Richard Mostacci, Daniel Rodriguez-Alvarez and Robert Osuna are asking for the TRO.

Mostacci and Alvarez were put on the hospital’s waiting list for a liver transplant in 2021 and Osuna in 2022.

Mostacci died on February 1, 2023.

Osuna died on December 26, 2023.

Rodriguez-Alvarez died on April 9, 2024, five days after the hospital suspended its liver transplant program.

RELATED: Memorial Hermann has stopped accepting liver and kidney transplants. Here’s why

The restraining order request comes the same day Memorial Hermann confirmed that “inappropriate changes” were made by a doctor in their transplant program.

They don’t name the doctor but say the inappropriate changes were made to the acceptance criteria used by the hospital for patients awaiting a liver transplant. The New York Times broke the story, reporting that Dr. J. Steve Bynon, Jr. was being investigated, accused of secretly altering transplant databases, with the intention of making some of his patients ineligible for transplants.

Memorial Hermann suspended its liver transplant program first and then its kidney transplant program because of a “shared leadership structure.” Dr, Bynon oversaw both transplant programs for Memorial Hermann.

Dr. Bynon works for the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and contracts with the hospital.

UTHealth has defended Bynon as an exceptionally talented and caring doctor.

A federal investigation is also underway by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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