May 10, 2006
Motley Rice files suit on behalf of New York woman who allegedly received tainted body parts during transplant surgery
Suit claims that defendants stole cadaver parts and sold them to tissue processing plants for transplants
MOUNT PLEASANT, SC - Motley Rice LLC, one of the nation's largest claimants' litigation firms, together with co-counsel Sanford Rubenstein of Rubenstein & Rynecki in Brooklyn, NY, today announced that it has filed suit against several human tissue processing firms and other defendants on behalf of a victim of an alleged body harvesting scheme. The suit, filed in Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Kings, in the State of New York, is on behalf of Pamela Grigorian of Middle Island, NY, who allegedly received illegally harvested and untested bones as part of a back surgery at St. Catherine of Sienna Medical Center in Smithtown, NY. Defendants in the case include allograft distributor Medtronic, Medtronic subsidiary SpinalGraft Technologies, Regeneration Technologies, Inc. (RTI), and the now defunct Biomedical Tissue Services (BTS) along with two of its founders.
On October 28, 2004, Ms. Grigorian received an allograft (cadaver tissue or bone used in transplant surgery) as part of what should have been a routine spinal surgery. The surgery included the permanent implantation of an allograft made and/or sold by defendants RTI and Medtronic. Nearly a year later, the hospital informed Ms. Grigorian that the tissue and bone used in her surgery had potentially come from improperly obtained and dissected tissue harvested by BTS and distributed by RTI. RTI had recently recalled the tissue because they were obtained from BTS, whose founders allegedly played a role in a human tissue and bone harvesting and distribution scheme that resulted in patients nationwide receiving potentially diseased implants.
"It is an atrocity that so many innocent people have had to suffer as a result of these defendants' repeated actions," stated Motley Rice attorney Kevin Dean. "Because my client cannot remove these cadaver parts from her body, she will spend the rest of her life living in constant fear of contracting a deadly disease."
While Ms. Grigorian has not yet tested positive for diseases, it is alleged that due to long incubation periods for HIV and other potentially deadly infectious diseases, she could test positive for an illness in the future - thus increasing her ongoing emotional distress.
Two of the defendants, Michael Mastromarino and Joseph Nicelli of BTS, were recently indicted in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, NY, for allegedly operating a corrupt $4.6 million enterprise to harvest human tissue from funeral homes and sell it for use in transplants and research. Hospitals nationwide have reported receipt of the allegedly illegally harvested and potentially dangerous tissue. Motley Rice believes that due to poor industry regulations, the problem may extend far beyond what has been included in the recent BTS case. Anyone who has received a tissue transplant or bone graft and has been inexplicably diagnosed with hepatitis, HIV, syphilis or other infectious diseases should take the necessary steps to protect their legal rights.