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Unusual Divorce Dispute

Thursday, January 8, 2009 1 comments

As we all know divorces can get very nasty. Such is the case with Dr. Richard Batista, a surgeon at Nassau University Medical Center. The Long Island surgeon embroiled in a nearly four-year divorce proceeding wants his estranged wife to return the kidney he donated to her, although he says he'll settle for $1.5 million in compensation.

He said he gave his kidney to Dawnell Batista, now 44, in June 2001. She filed for divorce in July 2005, although he claims she began having an extramarital affair 18 months to two years after receiving the kidney transplant. He claimed he has been prevented from seeing their children, ages, 8, 11 and 14, for months at a time.

Batista, 49, said he has no regrets about donating the kidney, only about the failed marriage. The couple was married in 1990 and lived in a million-dollar home in Massapequa. They met while he was working at a hospital and she was training to be a nurse.

He still recalls the day after the surgery took place.

"There is no greater feeling on this planet. As God is my witness, I felt as if I could put my arm around Jesus Christ. It was an unbelievable; I was walking on a cloud... To this day I would still do it again."

"I've been in this business over 40 years and I've never heard of that," said Seymour J. Reisman, a Long Island divorce lawyer. "It's not marital property, not a marital asset you can put a price tag on."

Manhattan attorney Susan Moss said, "The good doctor is out of luck and out a kidney. This is similar to cases where a husband wants to be repaid for the cost of breast implants and the such. Our judges are not willing to value such assets, so to speak."


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