The lawsuit was filed by the children of William E. Perkins, a man from Illinois who died of a stroke in November 2013.
His daughter says she signed a form that donated his body to science. It assured her the remains would be treated with “dignity and respect” and whatever was not used would be cremated.
The family received cremated ashes in December 2013. However, in April 2015, the family was contacted by the FBI and notified of a criminal investigation into Biological Resource Center.
The case started in Detroit, when FBI agents raided a company called International Biological. They found un-embalmed body parts from thousands of different people — including arms, legs, and heads — being kept on ice so they would be fresh for the black market.
The FBI said they found body parts belonging to William Perkins during a search. The family now believes the ashes they received did not actually belong to their father.
In May 2015, the family filed a class action lawsuit in Cook County, Illinois — Case No. 2015-CH-08513.
The class action names several “organ donor” companies. They are all accused of illegally selling human bodies for profit and lying to victims and family members about what they were doing.
Companies named in the class action:
- Biological Resource Center (Phoenix, Arizona)
- Biological Resource Center of Illinois (Rosemont/Schiller Park, Illinois)
- International Biological, Inc. (Detroit, Michigan)
- Arthroscopy Association of North America (Schiller Park, Illinois)
- Anatomical Service, Inc. (Schiller Park, Illinois)
- Waukegan Hospice Corp., Vista Hospice, Mercy Hospital and Medical Center (Illinois)
Stephen Gore, the owner of Biological Resource Center, pled guilty to a Class III felony in October 2015. He admitted selling contaminated human tissue and harvesting body parts against the wishes of donors.
The class action was filed by Kenneth T. Goldstien and Clinton A. Krislov of Krislov & Associated, Ltd., in Chicago, Illinois.