N.Y. Jury Denies Drug Convict’s Med-Mal Claim

April 29, 2004

A federal jury in New York has ruled against a convicted drug mule who claimed he was improperly forced to undergo surgery to remove heroin-filled condoms he had ingested.

William Meequaye Kanyi filed suit against doctors, Mary Immaculate Hospital in Queens, and the U.S. Customs Service in 1999, charging that he did not give consent for the operation, which he said was unnecessary.

A jury in federal court in Brooklyn on Wednesday rejected Kanyi’s claims that he was improperly deemed incompetent.

Kanyi was convicted of drug smuggling after he admitted that he swallowed 51 condoms filled with heroin in Ghana and then boarded a flight to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.

Kanyi passed some of the condoms prematurely by the time he had arrived at the airport, and they were discovered by customs agents.

He fainted during an X-ray at the airport and was taken to the hospital, where he was given the operation without consent. His objection to the surgery was overruled by a psychiatrist who deemed him incompetent.

He served two years in prison before being deported to Ghana.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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