. .

Invest in your success.
JVRA helps lawyers win cases by providing critical information you can use to establish precedent, determine demand and win arguments.

ARTICLE ID 188516

$________ – TORT OF OUTRAGE – DESECRATION OF CORPSE – MISHANDLING OF REMAINS – SEPULCHER – WOMAN SUES AFTER HOSPITAL DESTROYS ORGANS, PREVENTING SECOND AUTOPSY – EMOTIONAL DISTRESS.

Polk County Circuit Court

In this matter, a woman pursued a Tort of Outrage against a Florida hospital for disposing of her mother’s organs post-mortem. The hospital denied any departure from the standard of care in regards to disposal of remains.

The decedent Sharren S. perished on Easter Sunday ________ at Winter Haven Hospital in Winter Haven, Florida. The autopsy was performed by the defendant Phillip G. of Ridge Pathology Consultants. Thereafter, the decedent’s daughter Brandy L. sought to have a second autopsy done to confirm the coroner’s conclusion that her mother died of a morphine overdose. This was made impossible, however, when the hospital disposed of the organs as trash, which was then incinerated.

Brandy L. thereafter filed a "Tort of Outrage" in Polk County Circuit Court, naming as defendants Winter Haven Hospital, the pathologist Dr. Phillip G., and Ridge Pathology Consultants. Brandy L. sought recovery for the defendants’ intentional/reckless infliction of emotional distress, as well as punitive damages. The plaintiff asserted at trial that defendants desecrated her mother’s body, as well as acted in collusion to prevent a second autopsy. Witnesses for the plaintiff included Dr. Steven Nelson, a Polk County medical examiner.

The defendant hospital denied any wrongdoing in the standard disposal of the organs after the autopsy was complete. The defendant brought testimony from Dr. Greg Davis, an out-of-state pathologist, and Florida pathologist Dr. Thomas Strickland.After two weeks of trial, the jury returned with a finding of liability for all three defendants. The jury awarded $1 million in compensatory damages joint and separately, as well as $________ in punitive damages against Ridge Pathology and $1 million against Winter Haven Hospital.

To read the full article, please login to your account or purchase

5 ways to win with JVRA

JVRA gives you jurisdiction-specific, year-round insight into the strategies, arguments and tactics that win. Successful attorneys come to the table prepared and use JVRA to:

  1. Determine if a case is winnable and recovery amounts.
  2. Determine reasonable demand for a case early on.
  3. Support a settlement demand by establishing precedent.
  4. Research trial strategies, tactics and arguments.
  5. Defeat or support post-trial motions through past case histories.

Try JVRA for a day or a month, or sign up for our deluxe Litigation Support Plan and put the intelligence of JVRA to work for all of your clients. See our subscription plans.