Saturday, November 10, 2012

Jacobs v. CORE - Settled for over $1 Million

In 2009, I described a unique lawsuit: Michael Jacobs v. The Center for Organ Recovery & Education; Jonathan Coleman; The Hamot Medical Center Of The City Of Erie, Pennsylvania; William R. Phelps, M.D.; Peter Pahapill, M.D.; Jeffrey Bednarski, M.D.; Roberto Lopez, M.D.; Ruy Cruz, M.D.; Emergycare, Inc., NO. 1:09-CV-00048 (W.D. Pa. filed Mar. 4, 2009).

This is a case in which a high school student suffered a serious head injury while skiing. His parents allege all sorts of medical malpractice from many different providers. But most notably, they allege that Defendants deceived and coerced them into consenting to a DNR order and to organ donation. They also allege that the organ harvesting was done before their son's death.

This week, the parties filed a petition for the court to approve their settlement agreement.  I will post the relevant documents.  Basically, on almost the eve of trial, the settling defendants CORE and Hamot Medical Center have agreed to pay plaintiffs $1,200,000 to settle all claims.  


Anonymous said...

I think this case opens the door to families recouping some of the proceeds of their child's organs. Where, at the present time, families are not paid for organs, the precedent is now set for staking a claim in the haul.

If families want to hire a lawyer and wait the 5 years as the Jacobs did, they will get something. It's like a wills variation case. If you are left out of a will and you are a rightful beneficiary you will get something if you get a lawyer and go through the process.

It's a pity the case does nothing to throw light on the organ donation scam though.

Anonymous said...

Having read the documents I see that Mr Jacobs stated it would be better for his son to die than survive "not the same."

Had the case gone to trial, it would have been very difficult for a jury to bypass Mr Jacobs' statement.

In western culture, this is a very common attitude. In fact it is the attitude upon which our ethics are based. (Ethics are more about an accepted or agreed upon approach rather than cold legal percepts).

I doubt whether the Jacobs would have done any better at trial than they did in settling.

Organ donation is a style of death. It is shaped by attitudes, values and a bit of fantasy. Legally-speaking, organ removal from the still breathing (MV or not) is wrong so ethics must float it along.

I hope that Organasia will come to be more readily accepted as time goes on. Organasia is recognized cause of death through removal of organs. It serves to express a style of death i.e. good samaritan and it protects the donor by giving him analgesics for suffering during the surgery.

As euthanasia means "good death," Organasia means "good organ harvesting."