A Philadelphia woman is among hundreds of people who have filed suit after learning that body parts used in an operation she had were illegally harvested and had not screened for infectious diseases, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. She contracted hepatitis C from the cadaver parts. Some people involved in the case say thousands of people could have received unscreened tissue.
The owner of one company has been accused of stealing body parts from 1,077 cadavers without family consent from as many as 30 funeral homes, selling the unscreened tissue at huge profits, and falsifying paperwork to cover his trail. New indictments are expected soon as investigators probe the funeral homes and others. New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said last month that investigators had identified funeral homes in New York, northern New Jersey, and one in Philadelphia that participated in the body-snatching. Authorities in New York have exhumed more than a dozen bodies there to confirm that parts were illegally harvested, sometimes finding plastic hardware-store tubing instead of bones.