The renowned surgeon found dead in his apartment Sunday was in the middle of a legal tangle with a former Giants running back who filed a lawsuit claiming the doctor's botched treatments ruined his career.
Ex-footballer Michael Cox said he'd been under Dr. Dean Lorich's care since the fall of 2014, according to a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Cox, now 29, suffered a broken leg during the Nov. 9, 2014 Giants-Seahawks game in Seattle, his lawyer, Steven North, told the Daily News. Cox was in his second season with the Giants at the time of this injury.
Lorich, associate director of the Orthopaedic Trauma Service at the Hospital for Special Surgery, was assigned to perform surgery on Cox the next day.
Vintage crime photos from the Daily News
Vintage crime photos from the Daily News
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While Lorich fixed Cox's fractured fibula, or calf bone, he didn't properly treat his injured talus, a major ankle bone, North charged.
"It was not even addressed during the subsequent office visits by cleaning it out," North claimed.
"It got worse and worse and worse to a point where ultimately, Michael went to different doctors, had multiple surgeries, and his career was ruined — he cannot play football anymore."
Cox, who was 26 at the time, is still recuperating and looking for work in the sports industry, North said.
Cox, who had a four-year, $2.3 million contract with the Giants, North said, is seeking unspecified damages.
North said Lorich likely wouldn't have been responsible for paying any possible settlement to Cox, explaining the physician was covered by the hospital's insurance policy.
Asked for comment on the May 2016 lawsuit, a Hospital for Special Surgery spokeswoman said the medical center "does not comment regarding pending litigation. We are in the process of vigorously defending the allegations against HSS and Dr. Lorich."
Lorich's 11-year-old daughter discovered him dead in their apartment on Park Ave. and E. 96th St. about 1 p.m. Sunday with a knife in his chest.
After finding Lorich's body, the girl told the building's doorman, who then called 911, according to officials. There were no indications of forced entry into Lorich's apartment.
Lorich's wife was out playing tennis at the time of his death, officials said.
Cops are treating Lorich's death as an apparent suicide, sources previously told The News.
"He was under some personal stress," an NYPD source said.
Lorich, 54, treated U2 frontman Bono in 2014, after the musician was hurt in a bicycling accident in Central Park.
He was also among the doctors who helped NYPD Officer Tarrell Lee. An SUV hit Lee in September 2005, while he was directing traffic in Midtown.
He also treated Matt Long, a firefighter who was struck by a bus in December 2005.
The father-of-three also worked as a professor at Weill Cornell Medical College.