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L.I. woman suing body-carve ghouls

May 13, 2006 | New York Daily News

A Long Island woman claiming she received potentially diseased bone from a corpse during a transplant procedure plans to sue the bosses of a body parts-for-sale ring and two companies that sold their products.

Pamela Grigorian, 48, of Middle Island, charges in a suit to be filed Monday that bone grafted onto her spine during a 2004 disk repair procedure was illicitly harvested by Michael Mastromarino and Joseph Nicelli.

Both men have been indicted by a Brooklyn grand jury for illegally carving up more than 1,000 corpses, then selling body parts for eventual transplant without testing the material for contagious diseases.

"I was extremely worried, but I have to be hopeful that I'm one of the lucky ones that won't get sick," said Grigorian referring to the risk of contracting HIV, hepatitis and other potentially fatal diseases associated with untested material culled from corpses.

Grigorian's suit also charges that Regeneration Technologies Inc., and Medtronic Sofamor Danek, USA, Inc., companies that bought skin, bone and other body parts from Mastromarino, also failed to adequately monitor material received by thousands of transplant recipients around the country.

The suit will be filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court, Grigorian's lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein said. He noted that although she has "tested negative for contagious disease so far, she could test positive for an illness in the future causing her ongoing emotional distress."

Mastromarino and Nicelli also have been charged with failing to obtain permission from next of kin before harvesting material from corpses. Their business, Biomedical Tissue Services Ltd., was shut down last fall after the Daily News disclosed the details of their grisly enterprise.

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