Harvard Morgue Scandal Lawsuits Thrown Out

Harvard Morgue Scandal Lawsuits Thrown Out

(RepublicanView.org) – The families who sued Harvard University after their relative’s remains were allegedly stolen and sold on the black market say they will appeal the dismissal of their cases. Paula Peltonovich, who says her father’s body, which was donated to Harvard Medical School, was sold on in a criminal market, said she wants the school held to account.

“To know somebody bought something of my father’s or multiple things of my father’s, I want that back,” Ms. Peltonovich said, according to NBC News. She spoke to reporters following the decision by Suffolk Superior Court Judge Kenneth Salinger to dismiss the lawsuit.

The case was initiated by 47 family members against the school and two employees in its anatomical gift program, to whom the bodies were donated. Police arrested Cedric Lodge, the program director, last June and charged him with stealing body parts and selling them.

The scheme allegedly started in 2018 and ran until Lodge and his wife were arrested last year. Three alleged buyers are also facing charges. In his decision, Judge Salinger wrote that the factual allegations do not “plausibly suggest” that the Harvard employees “failed to act in good faith.”

Representing the plaintiffs, Kathryn Barnett, an attorney with the law firm Morgan & Morgan, said she was extremely disappointed by the ruling, which creates an “incredibly dangerous precedent.” Barnett confirmed her clients will appeal the verdict, according to GBH News.

Cedric Lodge is accused of stealing parts of bodies donated to Harvard, taking them home, and selling them online. Judge Salinger said that Harvard cannot be held responsible for the estimated 400 bodies that were affected, but Mr. Lodge still faces criminal charges.

The Harvard case is one of several that led to criminal cases. In 2018, a Detroit businessman and former employee of the University of Michigan was jailed for nine years over a comparable scheme. Similarly, Ernest Nelson of UCLA was convicted of freezing remains to be sold for a profit to medical research teams.

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