Exclusives
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

Lawsuit Stating Ambulance Company Dissected Man's Brain Tentatively Dismissed

SAN MATEO, Calif. -- A New York couple who accused the San Mateo County coroner of negligence for letting an ambulance company dissect their son's brain may not pursue a lawsuit, a judge tentatively ruled Wednesday.

Under the ruling, the family can amend the complaint and try again.

The tentative dismissal, however, suggests that the coroner acted properly in 2008 in complying with a subpoena to release brain tissue from the couple's son, Steven Wolkoff, 30, to an ambulance company after the man died in an auto accident on Highway 1.

The American Medical Response ambulance company wanted to analyze the brain to defend itself in a separate, wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the man's parents. In that suit, now settled, Jerald and Sandy Wolkoff accused paramedics of hastening their son's death through a procedure meant to help him breathe.

In 2010, the Wolkoffs learned that Coroner Robert Foucrault had allowed American Medical Response to remove a portion of their son's brain from his office and slice it into multiple pieces.

Observant Jews, the Wolkoffs said their faith requires them to bury their son whole, and that they were unaware that the ambulance company's subpoena would involve removal and dissection of Steven Wolkoff's brain.

The Wolkoffs then sued the coroner's office and Foucrault.

David Levy, the deputy county counsel representing the coroner, said complying with subpoenas that let a third party dissect tissue is "very routine."



RELATED ARTICLES

More Rural Hospitals Closing

A growing number of facilities across the country face growing difficulties.

Milwaukee Launches Community Paramedic Program

Pilot program with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee looks at follow-up care.

Cherokee Nation EMS Paramedic Training Named Top in Industry

Program is first and only tribe to receive accreditation from Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Colorado Residents to Benefit in Ambulance Contract Split

Change in contract for Colorado Springs is seen a way for faster response times and increased funds.

FDNY Graduates Over 100 New EMTs

Seven foreign languages are spoken among the new personnel.

Teen Rescued Five Days after Nepal Quake

Victim pulled from rubble of seven-story building.

Features by Topic

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

Featured Careers