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UC Irvine Settles Lawsuit Under Willed Body Program: Class Action And Individual Actions Remain Pending For Defense

Defense Opts to Settle Rather Than Take First Case to Trial

Christian Berthelsen of the Los Angeles Times reports today that defense attorneys for the University of California at Irvine have settled what “would have been the first lawsuit to go to jury trial” arising out of its Willed Body Program: a class action defense must still be mounted, and dozens of individual lawsuits remain pending. The lawsuit alleged that rather than using bodies donated to the University for research, body parts were sold. Berthelsen reports that a University investigation into the Willed Body Program – precipitated by numerous complaints – revealed that 320 of the 441 cadavers researched “could not be identified or tracked.” A defense lawyer is quoted as saying that the University is “happy to resolve the matter”: whether this settlement presages settlement of the class action or other individual claims remains to be seen.

Berthelsen’s article, entitled “Family Cadaver Lawsuit is Settled,” may be found in the California Metro section of the July 11, 2006 Los Angeles Times.