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Kia Franklin

Man Turns to Civil Justice System After Gruesome Surgery Mishap

Not for the faint of heart: in the Houston Chronicle, a story on a man who found out the implanted bone in his neck was actually stolen from a corpse. Absolutely sick.

He's (obviously) suing the companies that, New York authorities believe, may have set up deals with funeral directors to purchase parts from corpses without the surviving families' permission and without screening the bones for disease.

I dare someone to give a rational explanation for why this man would not deserve non-economic damages here. Did someone say, pain and suffering? To imagine the anguish this would cause him if the bone, implanted for one medical reason, contained a disease... or to think of the fact that the bone was stolen...

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Posted at 12:34 PM, Sep 28, 2007 in Medical Malpractice
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Comments

Kia: The article failed to mention, did this lawsuit lotto plaintiff get relief from his neck pain? If it was, what is the damage?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | September 28, 2007 10:59 PM

I dare someone to give a rational explanation for why this man would not deserve non-economic damages here. Did someone say, pain and suffering? To imagine the anguish this would cause him if the bone, implanted for one medical reason, contained a diseaseā€¦ or to think of the fact that the bone was stolenā€¦

My neighbor didn't hit me with his car this morning. In fact, my neighbor was sitting in his living room when I was outside. But I can "imagine" what would have happened if he did -- and trust me, I'm upset about it. I guess I should get pain and suffering, too.

Posted by: David Nieporent | September 28, 2007 11:39 PM

If non-economic damages should be awarded (a big IF in my opinion)there are likely only one or two parties against whom such damages should be assessed but I would guess that this lawsuit names a whole host of defendants, most of whom have no culpability in the matter.

It's always about the money, though, nicht wahr ??

Posted by: Paul W Dennis | October 1, 2007 12:28 AM

I suppose whether he got "relief" depends on how you define relief. In my definition, "relief" doesn't involve possible exposure to disease, unless he knew of this possibility and made an informed decision to take the risk for the benefit of less neck pain. So, I don't know whether he got "relief" but I do know that his bodily integrity was violated when they put a stolen, unscreened body part in it.

As for David N's response-- this man actually WAS harmed, unlike your imaginary hypo. Most reasonable people expect surgery NOT to involve body parts stolen from corpses in funeral homes and not screened for diseases.

Posted by: Kia | October 1, 2007 9:45 AM

Kia: Your assertion is weak. There is no measurable damage.

I hope you enjoy this brief analysis. Although I thought Kelo was Zimbabwe, it is the law of the land.

http://supremacyclaus.blogspot.com/2007/09/corpse-and-kelo.html

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | October 1, 2007 6:04 PM

Kia: No measurable damage, you are saying.

Although I thought, Kelo is Zimbabwe, it is the law of the land. See this brief analysis.

http://supremacyclaus.blogspot.com/2007/09/corpse-and-kelo.html

P.S. Your Capcha box rejects a lot of messages, and is hard to read for shut ins like me.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | October 1, 2007 6:09 PM

As for David N's response-- this man actually WAS harmed, unlike your imaginary hypo. Most reasonable people expect surgery NOT to involve body parts stolen from corpses in funeral homes and not screened for diseases.

It's hard to see how whether it was stolen or voluntarily donated constitutes harm to the recipient. (Harm to the family of the deceased person, sure, but that's not what we're discussing.) It's the same bone, either way.

As for whether it was screened for disease, it's obviously a bad thing for it not to have been screened for disease -- but he's only harmed if it actually is diseased. If it isn't diseased, then the fact that it wasn't screened for disease is irrelevant. (Of course, he may incur medical expenses in finding out, but those are economic harms, not the non-economic ones which were the topic of your post.)


Anyway, your underlying premise -- that he doesn't deserve non-economic damages -- is a strawman. Nobody has suggested eliminating non-economic damages entirely -- just limiting them to avoid arbitrary windfalls to plaintiffs)

Posted by: David Nieporent | October 2, 2007 6:22 AM

Kia: What is the legal basis for disappointed expectation as damage, in the absence of actual damage from poor performance? What statute or appellate decision sets that doctrine?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | October 2, 2007 8:48 AM