Three sisters have filed a lawsuit against the Nevada Donor Network claiming the nonprofit was misleading when a representative convinced them to allow tissue to be harvested from their mother.
Kristine Fagone and her sisters say when their mother died unexpectedly, the Nevada Donor Network called to ask if it could harvest tissue from her body despite Judith Bennett not being a registered organ donor, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Fagone said they planned an open-casket funeral and a donor network representative promised the procedure would not be noticeable, but when the funeral came, Fagone said her mother’s body was “substantially disfigured.”
Fagone and her sisters have filed a lawsuit claiming fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and mishandling of a decedent’s remains.
According to the lawsuit, the organization’s treatment of Bennett’s body “caused the already stressful and emotional time of preparing a loved one’s funeral to be magnified exponentially.”
Donor Network attorney Robert McBride says he cannot comment on pending litigation.
“However, I can say that we intend on vigorously defending these unfounded allegations against Nevada Donor Network in court,” McBride said.
Fagone and one of her sisters have removed their names from the donor registry as a result of their experience with their mother. The third sister was not a registered donor.
According to the Nevada Donor Network, the state has more than 887,000 registered donors, and 553 Nevadans out of 121,859 Americans are waiting for a transplant.
“We don’t want people to stop donating,” said Las Vegas attorney Gregory Coyer, who represents Bennett’s daughters. “This lawsuit is about informed consent.”
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