Denver, Colorado, December 7, 2015 – Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C., and Kabateck Brown Kellner, LLP announce the filing of a lawsuit in Arizona on behalf of eight plaintiffs, against defendant, Biological Resource Center, Inc., and other defendant companies and individuals. Biological Resource Center, Inc. and the other defendants represented that bodily remains donated to them and their entities would be used for scientific and medical education and research. However, based on both state and federal investigations, the donated bodily remains were actually dismembered, sold for profit, mishandled, and improperly disposed of on the black market.
This Civil lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County on December 7, 2015, alleges that since 2007, the decedents and their families were fraudulently induced by the defendants to donate bodily remains based on representations that the remains would be used solely for medical or scientific research. Defendants represented that the remains would be treated with dignity and respect, and would not be dismembered or sold for profit. The complaint alleges that although these defendants held themselves out to be dedicated to the collection and study of human donor bodies solely for medical and scientific purposes, they instead engaged in an illegal enterprise of collecting, harvesting, and trafficking whole human bodies and body parts for profit. The lawsuit further alleges that beginning in 2015, the donor families discovered that:
- Their deceased family members were dismembered and their body parts or whole bodies were sold for profit;
- The body parts of family members were shipped overseas for profit to unknown entities;
The whole bodies and body parts of their family members were not used for scientific, medical, or educational purposes;
- The donor body parts were being stored for years by the defendants without being donated to medicine or science;
- The whole bodies and body parts of their family members were not stored, treated or disposed of with dignity or respect; and
- The defendants harvested bodies and body parts fraudulently and contrary to the express will of the decedents and/or their families.
The lawsuit seeks monetary damages on behalf of the donors’ families and contains eleven counts against the defendants for their reprehensible conduct, including: intentional infliction of emotional distress; mishandling of bodies and bodily remains; fraud; civil conspiracy; breach of contract; racketeering; and aiding and abetting, among others. The lawsuit also includes a punitive damages claim.
This lawsuit comes on the heels of a criminal investigation initiated by FBI and state authorities. The investigation was in connection with the defendants’ illegal conduct, involving the transport of human body parts across state and international borders for profit, the mishandling of bodily remains, health violations, and misrepresentation to victims, including the families of the plaintiffs. The criminal investigation has received widespread media attention in Arizona and across the nation. Stephen Gore, a defendant in the lawsuit and the owner of Biological Resource Center in Arizona, recently pled guilty to a class three felony in connection with the defendants’ fraudulent and illegal activity.
“One can only imagine the horrifying revelation that your loved one’s body was illegally dismembered and sold on the black market,” said Burg Simpson founding shareholder, Michael Burg. “The lawyers at Burg Simpson and Kabateck Brown Kellner will work tirelessly to hold the defendants accountable for their horrific conduct, and to bring justice to the families who have suffered.”
With offices in Denver, Cincinnati, Phoenix, Cody, and Steamboat Springs, Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. is a firm of award winning trial lawyers practicing in the areas of personal injury, class action, mass torts, medical malpractice, dangerous drug litigation, defective products, insurance bad faith, employment law, workers’ compensation, commercial litigation, and construction defect litigation.
Kabateck Brown Kellner, LLP is a personal injury firm in Los Angeles, California, recognized by clients, the legal community, and the public as a leading plaintiff’s law firm dedicated to maximizing recovery.
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