Lawmakers finally made a move during this last legislative session to put an end to the “body broker” business in Colorado with the passage of Senate Bill 234.
The new law prevents anyone from owning both a funeral home and a “body donation” company while also establishing minimum standards for sanitary maintenance and record keeping.
But Burg Simpson founding shareholder Michael S. Burg insists the state has to do more in an editorial in the Denver Post.
“What we need now are simple, common sense laws that hold these companies accountable for how they run their businesses,” Burg writes. “The laws should require all body donation companies to keep complete records, be fully transparent about what will be done with the bodies upon donation and disclose to families how the donor’s body was actually used. The laws should establish standards of care and create strict penalties for body brokers that break the rules. All body brokers need to be accountable to some governmental authority for exactly how bodies are used, with full proof of informed consent from the donor or the donor’s families for that use. Only then can the illegal trafficking in human body parts by body brokers truly be stopped.”
The body brokerage industry has become a billion-dollar business but hit close to home earlier this year when the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided a Montrose, Colo., funeral home based on suspicions the business was selling off the body parts of the deceased instead of cremating them and returning them to their loved ones.
Michael S. Burg is one of America’s leading trial lawyers, a best-selling author, legal expert and founding shareholder of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine. A legal champion for victims of corporate and individual malfeasance, negligence, overreach and abuse, Burg began his career fighting for the underdog and has gone on to successfully litigate some of the country’s most high-profile cases of the past four decades. Under Burg’s leadership, Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine has expanded to more than 60 attorneys across six cities. A national leader in mass tort and class action litigation, the firm has won more than $1 billion in verdicts, judgments, and settlements on behalf of its clients.