Twenty one people in Arizona sued a body donation company in Arizona after they were duped into believing that the bodies were to be used for research. The bodies were chopped up and used for much more than research, including ballistics testing. One woman donated her husband’s body in 2013 and when police searched the facility they found his head in the freezer. She was awarded 5.5 million of the 58 million total payout ordered by the court.
Stephen Gore, the owner of Biological Resource Center was found liable due to fraud. Gore says that he should have been more open about what his company was doing with the bodies that were donated to them. I suspect if he had been, finding people willing to donate the bodies of their loved ones would have been limited to those who could not afford a funeral.
One bizarre detail brought out by investigators was a large stash of penises that they were unable to determine what they were being saved and used for. Over all, they found the site to be very gruesome. What turned the tide in the case is that prosecutors pointed out that Gore’s company listed themselves as a body donation company, which has little regulation but operated an organ donation business, which is highly regulated.
The Maricopa County Superior Court jury made the ruling on Tuesday against Stephen Gore, the owner of Biological Resource Center, and in favor of ten of twenty-one plaintiffs who sued his company.
Plaintiffs alleged that they were deceived and told the bodies of their loved ones were going to be used for research. Instead, they were sold for other uses, including ballistics testing.
The Arizona Republic documented the story of Gwen Aloia, one of the plaintiffs who won $5.5 million in the case. She had signed over the body of her husband Louis in 2013 to the Biological Resource Center while he was in hospice care.
FBI agents later discovered the head of her husband in a freezer during their investigation.