The parents of a teenager who died in a car crash were awarded $1 million by a New York City jury after the boy’s classmates spotted their friend’s brain being displayed in a jar during a tour of the New York City morgue.
Korisha and Andre Shipley lost their 17-year-old son Jesse in a 2005 car crash.
Only two months later, the teen’s classmates spotted his brain floating in formaldehyde and sealed in a jar with his name on it during a trip to the Richmond County mortuary.
“[Jesse's sister] came home and told [her parents] everybody in school was talking about it, that the medical examiner’s office had Jesse’s brain,” Anthony Galante, the family’s attorney, told the New York Daily News.
The family, devout Catholics, was mortified to find the medical examiner had kept some of their son’s organs after the boy had been buried.
Shannon Shipley, who was 14 at the time of her brother’s death, survived the crash that took her brother’s life. The teen was so traumatized at the time that she dropped out of school due to bullying and intense guilt, the New York Daily News reported.
The nightmare still wasn’t over for the grieving family.
The Shipleys, who moved to Florida, made a surprise visit to a New York City morgue before Jesse’s second burial.
There they caught the funeral director snapping pictures of Jesse’s organs as “evidence” in a law suit the family had recently filed against the city.
“The city tried to point fingers at the death of the son being the cause of the problem they were experiencing with their daughter Shannon and at the funeral director for having the organs out when they went to pick out the casket,” Galante told the New York Daily News. ”They pointed fingers at everybody but themselves.”
Sheila Rossi, a city attorney, said the city is considering its legal options after the $1 million verdict.