The daughter of a deceased Greenfield, Massachusetts, pediatrician is suing Harvard Medical School after its mortuary manager was accused of selling donated body parts.
Anne Weiss' father, Dr. William Buchanon, wanted his body donated to his alma mater for medical student research after he passed away in 2018.
Weiss, of South Deerfield, along with at least three other families, are suing Harvard. They claim the school was negligent in supervising its morgue manager, Cedric Lodge.
Lodge is charged with selling and trafficking human remains from 2018 — the year Buchanon passed away — to 2023. Lodge and his wife Denise are accused of stealing and transporting cadavers across the country.
The class action suit states that some remains may have been sold and turned into “commodities,” like indicted Peabody shop owner Katrina Maclean, who allegedly displayed and sold the remains in her storefront.
Weiss’ lawsuit said she has reason to believe her father’s body parts were sold, based on an approximation of 350 to 400 donated bodies that could have been affected by the body-part ring.
Lawyers representing Weiss in the case sent a statement.
"We look forward to litigating this case on behalf of our client, whose father's remains were entrusted to Harvard Medical School to further medical education. This was consistent with his life as a dedicated pediatrician," Joe Sauder and Bryan Lentz said. "Harvard Medical School failed him, his family and everyone impacted by these horrific acts."
In an initial statement issued last month, Harvard Medical School deans called the acts “an abhorrent betrayal.” The school did not provide any further comment in response to Weiss' lawsuit.
This story is a production of the New England News Collaborative. It was originally published by New England Public Media.
This article was originally published on July 18, 2023.