Judge: No kidney in divorce suit

February 26, 2009

A New York state judge has ruled against a man who demanded $1.5 million for a kidney he gave his estranged wife before they began divorce proceedings.

Dr. Richard Batista, 49, of Ronkonkoma, N.Y., had sought the return of his kidney or $1.5 million for the organ as part of his divorce settlement with Dawnell Batista, 44, of Massapequa, Newsday reported Thursday.

State Supreme Court marital referee Jeffrey Grob ruled Wednesday that putting a monetary value on a human organ is illegal and could expose the defendant to criminal prosecution.

At its core, the defendant’s claim inappropriately equates human organs with commodities, Grob as wrote in his 10-page ruling, the New York Daily News reported. While the term ‘marital property’ is elastic and expansive … its reach, in this court’s view, does not stretch into the ethers and embrace … human tissues or organs.

However, Richard Batista’s lawyer, Dominic Barbara, referred to the decision as a complete victory, citing a statement in Grob’s decision that says his client’s sacrifices, magnanimity and devotion can be taken into account when the case is settled.

Source: upi

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