A woman claims in a lawsuit that the hospital discarded her amputated leg and caused her “irreparable harm” because of her desire to bury it.
Diana Stamps filed a lawsuit with attorney Parag Shah against Northeast Georgia Medical Center in September. Stamps claims the hospital negligently inflicted emotional distress by discarding the leg that she intended to bury because of her religious belief.
The hospital’s attorney Thomas Cole declined to comment Thursday when reached by phone.
Stamps claims in her lawsuit that she had 19 reconstructive surgeries on her left foot after a September 1986 car wreck.
A Duke University Hospital doctor advised her of the possibility of a leg amputation. She later agrees to an amputation on May, 28, 2014 below the knee at Northeast Georgia Medical Center and makes preparations to perform a cremation and burial, according to court records.
“The burial of the leg symbolizes closure of 27 years of painful memories,” according to her lawsuit. “In addition, per her religious belief that one should be buried with all of their limbs, this burial would provide her salvation.”
Shah declined to comment further beyond the filed complaint and did not disclose Stamps’ religious belief.
A form originally labeled “Disposition of Products of Conception/Fetus” is signed by Stamps and a witness about a burial service for the leg, according to the lawsuit. The phrase “Conception/Fetus” is crossed out and “Left Leg” is written.
“Northeast Georgia Medical Center asks Diana if they can study her leg before the funeral home picks it up,” according to the lawsuit. “Diana agrees to the hospital’s request.”
Around July 1, 2014, the hospital allegedly informed Stamps that the leg was “discarded with the other remains,” according to the lawsuit.
In a response filed in October, the hospital denies the conversation involving studying the leg.
In the complaint, Stamps claims: breach of contract; unjust enrichment from studying the leg; negligent performance of voluntary undertaking; breach of fiduciary duty; bailment; and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
The hospital denies all of the allegations, according to court records.
Stamps seeks damages and court costs. Both sides requested a jury trial.