A Staten Island family has been awarded $1 million after learning that their deceased son's brain was on display at the Staten Island Mortuary, according to the Staten Island Advance.
Jesse Jerome Shipley, whose brain was on display, died in a 2005 car crash. His sister Shannon was in the passenger seat during the crash and survived. Two months, Shannon visited the Staten Island Mortuary on a field trip with high school classmates when she discovered that a jar with a brain in it was labeled with her brother's name.
The family filed a lawsuit against the city and the Medical Examiner's office, charging that ME's interference with proper disposition had caused them severe emotional distress, according to the New York Post.
The ME's office believed that it hadn't done anything wrong since it had the right to the autopsy and to hold the organ for study, according to the Post. A doctor from the ME's office explained that he typically waited until he had saved six brains before calling the neuropatholgical examiner down to Staten Island, that way it was worth the trip.
Shannon Shipley previously settled a personal injury case for $60,000 with the owners of vehicles involved in the crash that killed her brother, according to the Advance. The ME office plans to appeal the verdict of $1 million lawsuit.