The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

Settlement Details Released in UPMC Hamot Organ-Harvesting Case

Details of a settlement against UPMC Hamot have emerged this week, as the Erie Times-News reports that the parties have agreed to a $1.2 million payout.

The wrongful death lawsuit, which was heard in federal court, dealt with the harvesting of organs. The lawsuit claimed that the hospital, Hamot Medical Center in Erie, which apparently was unaffiliated with UPMC at the time of the alleged event, hastened the death of an 18-year old man, in order to harvest his organs.

Also named in the lawsuit was the Center for Organ Recovery and Education, reports The Associated Press.

Gregory Jacobs was the patient at issue. He was hospitalized after suffering a head injury while snowboarding without a helmet at a ski resort in New York. This was during a school trip back in 2007.

Jacobs was taken to Hamot, where he was pronounced dead after being removed from life support.

While the case was referred to the Erie County District Attorney's office, there were no criminal charges filed, as the office determined that the hospital and CORE officials followed proper procedures.

Despite the payout, the settlement states that the money does not represent an admission of fault by the hospital. Rather, attorneys for the defendants maintain that the settlement represents a desire to move attention away from the lawsuit, which was detracting from the mission of CORE.

Initially, the lawsuit was seeking $5 million in damages for pain and suffering, medical bills and other punitive damages.

Records obtained by the Erie Times-News indicate that $676,345 from the settlement will go to Jacobs' parents. Another $505,018 will go to pay legal fees, with $18,637 going to medical costs.

Gregory Jacobs' parents also filed a lawsuit against two teachers who accompanied their son on the ski trip. That lawsuit was settled in 2009.

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