Lawsuit Over Lost Innards in Las Vegas

The King said it best, "Viva Las Vegas!"

Siouxsie loves the urban legend about the guy in Vegas on business who woke up in a bathtub filled with ice and a note that said his kidney had been removed.  These urban legends have their roots in unbelievable true-life tales like this one . . . .

As reported by the Las Vegas Sun,

London-area aluminum trader Richard Boorman was 29 when he flew to Las Vegas for a bachelor party in 2005.  He wound up being pronounced dead at Desert Springs Hospital. His relatives were left questioning how the seemingly healthy former amateur boxing champion had died on vacation.

The first autopsy cited acute cocaine and alcohol intoxication as the cause of death.  A second autopsy was scheduled in England, which is standard procedure when a British citizen dies abroad.  But  the second autopsy never happened.  When “Mr. Boorman’s body came home in July 2005, his heart, brain, liver, kidneys and lungs didn’t.”

And so, in 2007, the man’s family filed a lawsuit against Clark County, its coroner’s office and the Nevada Memorial Cremation Society.

After ruling on motions to dismiss, the U.S. District Judge Philip Pro made a rare request to have the Supreme Court of Nevada answer questions of law relating to the mishandling of human remains.

Among the questions the federal judge wants the Supreme Court to answer is who is entitled to sue to collect damages for the emotional distress caused by the mishandling of remains.  Pro said Nevada hasn’t established whether that would be any of the deceased’s immediate family, just the person statutorily entitled to the remains or just the person who contracted for funeral services, for example.  [Source.]

The U.S. District Court also certified questions as to the claims of breach of fiduciary duty and conversion relating to the missing body parts.

Siouxsie read the federal court’s order certifying questions to the state court.  It provides a thorough and lengthy analysis as to why the certification procedure is necessary here.

Siouxsie suspects that the outrageous facts of this case will make it more likely than not that the state court will hold that all of the plaintiffs are entitled to sue for emotional distress over the theft and/or loss of their loved one’s body parts.  More important, Siouxsie thinks that this case is destined to become the basis for a new urban legend.

Here is a bonus link to a legal note on certification process in general.

Bonus Charlie the Unicorn Video:

Source — How Appealing

Photo Credit:


~ by siouxsielaw on February 10, 2010.

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