Federal prosecutors are fighting an attempt to suppress evidence in a lawsuit filed against a Michigan man accused of running a business that sold infected body parts on the black market.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you believe your loved one was the victim of body snatching, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
What’s the Problem?
September 19, 2016 – According to the lawsuit, 62-year-old Arthur Rathburn rented human body parts with infectious diseases to unsuspecting customers who used the remains for medical or dental training.
The federal indictment accuses Rathburn of dismembered bodies with a chainsaw “without using sanitary precautions,” and storing human heads by stacking them on top of each other without using protective measures.
Rathburn filed a 156-page motion in court last month to suppress evidence seized from a Detroit warehouse, which he claims was illegal and lacked probable cause. Federal agents say they searched the warehouse as part of a nationwide investigation into the “body snatching” trade, which involves making a profit off dismembering and selling human remains without donor consent.
Prosecutors filed their response to Rathburn’s motion on Friday, saying he was a central figure in an international network that buys and sells human cadavers, body parts and tissues.
“This network, as described by the affidavit, was more likely than not engaged in crimes,” the prosecutors’ motion said. “Bodies were bought, sold, and disposed of contrary to the will of donors. Infected remains were passed off as noninfectious. Lies were told to state and federal regulators. The Grinnell Warehouse was a hub of this activity, and the affidavit in support of the warrant provided probable cause for its search.”
Prosecutors further allege that Rathburn’s company, International Biological, Inc., received human remains from the Biological Resource Center (BRC) in Phoenix, Arizona. A review of death certificates found that severed heads sourced from BRC and used by International Biological in medical seminars were not legally donated to science.
A review of paperwork for 279 body parts transported by International Biological and sourced from BRC revealed that nearly half were dismembered prior to testing for HIV and hepatitis. This is in violation of the center’s standard operating procedures, according to the lawsuit.
Rathburn is charged with 9 counts of wire fraud, 3 charges of making false statements and 1 charge of transporting hazardous material. Each charge carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. He is currently in federal detention, and his next court date has not yet been set.
Do I Have a Body Snatcher Lawsuit?
The Civil Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in body snatcher lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you feel your family member or loved one may have been the victim of body snatching, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.