Saturday, August 16, 2014

Appeals Court Reverses Dismissal of Negligence Suit Against Hospital Chaplain

In Lefkowitz v. Skokie Hospital, (IL App., July 25, 2014), an Illinois appellate court reversed a trial court's dismissal of a suit by an Orthodox Jewish man, Moshe Lefkowitz, who alleges that Skokie Hospital's Jewish chaplain was negligent in failing to prevent his amputated leg from being incinerated. Orthodox Jewish beliefs require amputated body parts to be  preserved or buried so that they can eventually be buried with the individual from whom they came. The appeals court said that there was a question of whether the forms Lefkowitz signed consenting to the hospital's disposal of his amputated leg were effective since Lefkowitz was blind and did not read them. The Chicago Tribune, in an article appearing in tomorrow's edition, discusses the case and also points out that Lefkowitz is a defendant in an unrelated criminal case charging him, his father (a rabbi), and his brother with stealing $10,000 in donations from a North Shore synagogue.