Esteemed founding shareholder Michael Burg explained the details of a body broker case in Arizona brought by several families against Biological Resource Center, Inc. and its owner, Steve Gore. In this terrible case, the families donating their deceased loved ones’ bodies to scientific research did not realize the company intended to dismember the corpse and package up individual body parts for thousands of dollars. While Biological Resource Center gave the impression to the grieving families that their loved one’s body would be treated with dignity and respect, and only used for medical or scientific purposes, in truth these body parts were sold on the black market and used for military testing or, worse, sold to unknown parties overseas.
“It’s really body snatching without them having to dig up the graves,” said Michael Burg in his Inside Edition interview. “They lied to them.”
In addition to the case in Arizona, Burg Simpson has also recently filed on behalf of sixty-four grieving families from Montrose, CO, who were victims in a similar scheme. The Sunset Mesa Funeral Home body broker case was filed February 4th, one year after the FBI raid that exposed the funeral home and its associated body broker business, Donor Services.
While the Montrose case may have tightened state protections against similar fraud by body brokers in Colorado, there are no federal laws regulating the industry, and very few other states have similar legislature. With body donation for tissue transplant or genuine scientific necessity are still important to help doctors and other medical staff & students save lives, Michael Burg feels that more legislation is needed to protect grieving families from companies looking for a payday who are willing to take advantage of the well-meaning, deceased individuals wanting to donate their bodies for the greater good. After Colorado passed the Human Remains Sale Disposition Act, Burg told Westword magazine, “While it’s a step in the right direction, the state has more work to do in order to protect people’s loved ones from this kind of deceit.”