A “body snatching” lawsuit has been filed against a Phoenix company accused of illegally dismembering and selling human remains that were donated for medical and scientific research.
Free Confidential Body Snatcher Lawsuit Evaluation: If you believe your loved one may have been the victim of body snatching, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
Update: FBI Says Body Broker Warehouse Held “Thousands” of Diseased Body Parts
January 9, 2018 – The warehouse of a Michigan man who has been accused of selling donated human remains to science was littered with dead flies, dog bowls and body parts that were “frozen together in flesh-on-flesh chunks,” according to an FBI agent’s testimony. Arthur Rathburn faces charges of wire fraud, transportation of hazardous material and making false statements.
What’s the Problem?
The lawsuit (CV2015-013391) was filed on December 7, 2015, in the Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County, on behalf of 8 families against Phoenix-based Biological Resource Center, Inc. (BRC) and other defendants tied to the company. According to the complaint, BRC for nearly a decade represented that bodily remains donated to them and their entities would be used respectfully and with dignity only for medical education and research, but in actuality were actually dismembered, sold for profit, mishandled and improperly disposed of on the black market.
The lawsuit further alleges that defendants portrayed themselves as being dedicated to the collection and study of human donor bodies for medical and scientific purposes, but were instead engaged in an illegal enterprise of collecting, harvesting and trafficking human remains for profit.
According to the complaint, in January 2015 donor families began discovering that:
- Their deceased loved ones were dismembered and sold for profit;
- Body parts were shipped overseas to unknown entities;
- Human remains were sometimes stored without respect or dignity for years and not used for scientific or medical purposes;
- Biological Resource Center, Inc. and the other defendants harvested bodies fraudulently and contrary to the express will of the decedents and/or their families.
Plaintiffs are seeking monetary and punitive damages on behalf of the donors’ families, citing 11 counts including mishandling of dead bodily remains, breach of contract and negligent referral. The lawsuit follows an investigation by the FDA and state authorities into the defendants’ illegal conduct, involving the trafficking of human remains across state and international borders, mishandling of bodily remains, health violations and misrepresentation to victims, including the families of the plaintiffs.
Stephen Gore, owner of Biological Resource Center, pled guilty to a class 3 felony in connection with the defendants’ fraudulent and illegal activity. He was sentenced on December 11, 2015, to 4 years probation and a deferred sentence of 12 months in jail for the crimes, according to the Maricopa County Superior Court.
Body Brokering Lawsuit Filed Against Biological Resource Center of Illinois LLC
November 8, 2017 – In a lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court, a woman is accusing Biological Resource Center of Illinois LLC of selling her deceased relative’s body for profit. Plaintiff in the case, Ann Marie Van Damme, accuses the defendants of allowing the remains of next of kin David Scott Van Damme to be sold for profit, and for making false representations regarding how the company intended to use the remains of the deceased.
Accused Body Broker Requests New Lawyer
February 8, 2017 – The trial date for accused body snatcher Arthur Rathburn has been postponed after he requested a new lawyer. Rathburn faces 20 years in prison on each of the 13 counts he faces, and has rejected plea deals by federal prosecutors.
Michigan Body Broker Linked to 18 More Human Heads
October 14, 2016 – Arthur Rathburn, the Grosse Pointe Park cadaver dealer accused of renting infected body parts to unsuspecting medical researchers, has been linked to a 2012 incident at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago in which investigators found a package filled with 18 human heads arriving from Italy. The details emerged in recent court filings which included statements from 3 confidential sources who helped the FBI build its case against Rathburn.
Prosecutors Fight Evidence Suppression in Body Snatcher Lawsuit
September 19, 2016 – Federal prosecutors are fighting an attempt to suppress evidence in the case of Arthur Rathburn, a 62-year-old man from Grosse Point Park, Michigan, who has been accused of running a business that sold infected body parts on the black market, according to the Detroit News. Rathburn filed a motion last month to suppress evidence seized from a Detroit warehouse, alleging the search was illegal and lacked probable cause. Federal agents say they searched the warehouse as part of a nationwide investigation into the body snatching industry.
Do I Have a Body Snatching Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in body snatching lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently investigating potential settlements in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if your family member or other loved one was the victim of body snatching, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a class action suit and our lawyers can help.