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U.S.D.C. - Western District of Pennsylvania

In this matter, a boy’s parents sued after he perished at an Erie hospital. The parents charged that the 18-year-old was deliberately killed for the purpose of harvesting his organs. The defendants, including the hospital, EMT and treating physicians, all denied the accusations.

At around 12:00 p.m. on March 8, ________, 18-year-old Gregory J. sustained a closed head injury during a snowboarding accident at Peek ‘n Peak Ski Resort in Findley Lake, New York. He was transported to Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he was examined. Defendant doctors asserted that Gregory J. suffered a bilateral stroke which resulted in brain death. The boy was thereafter taken to surgery, where his organs were extracted. Gregory J. perished after surgery of suffocation after the removal of his breathing tube.

Michael J., the father of the deceased and administrator of his estate, filed suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The defendants, Hamot Medical Center, the Center for Organ Recovery & Education, and the deceased’s treating physicians were accused of deliberately suffocating Gregory J. in order to harvest his organs. The plaintiffs further asserted that neither they nor their son had consented to his organs’ removal.

The suit also named EmergencyCare, the EMS service. The plaintiff sought compensatory damages in excess of $5 million for wrongful death and survival action damages for Civil Homicide, Civil Conspiracy, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Medical Malpractice, Fraudulent Misrepresentation, Negligent Misrepresentation, Civil Battery and Unfair Trade Practices. An action was also filed for Mutilation of a Corpse. The family sought recovery of medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, administrative expenses, and pain and suffering damages including those for the loss of companionship for the parents. The family also sought punitive damages for the defendants’ alleged willful, wanton, and reckless conduct.Settlement was reached pre-trial, resolving the suit for the sum of $1.2 million.

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