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Famed Texas surgeon sues over series on transplant program

HOUSTON (AP) - A famed Houston heart surgeon whose work was scrutinized in an investigative series by the Houston Chronicle and ProPublica has sued the publications for defamation.

Dr. O.H. "Bud" Frazier in the lawsuit filed Monday also argues he was subjected to emotional distress by the series the publications jointly produced on the heart transplant program at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center.

Among other claims, Frazier contends that his medical work was wrongly portrayed as illegal and unethical.

The publications reported earlier this year on the departure of several top physicians and an unusually high number of patient deaths in recent years.

In response to the suit, Chronicle editor and executive vice president Nancy Barnes says "we will defend our work vigorously."

Richard Tofel, president of ProPublica, says the lawsuit lacks merit.

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