LOCKPORT, N.Y. (CN) - After declaring their son dead in a car accident, a Niagara County coroner desecrated his corpse by ordering body parts to be given to a fire chief to train a cadaver dog, the parents claim in court.
Richard Dunn died in a car accident in Cambria, N.Y. on April 13, 2012, his parents, Danny and Anita Dunn, say in the complaint in Niagara County Supreme Court.
They sued Niagara County, its Fourth District Coroner Russell Jackman, the Cambria Volunteer Fire Company and its Fire Chief Vincent Salerno. They sued Jackman and Salerno as officials and as individuals.
The Dunns say both officials responded by going to the scene of the accident. After declaring their son dead, "Russell Jackman, during the performance of his duties as coroner, caused the removal of body parts and tissue to be taken from the body of Richard Dunn while at the scene of the accident," according to the complaint.
The parents claim that Jackman "gave these body parts and tissue to defendant Vincent Salerno," at the scene, in Jackman's capacity of fire chief.
"Upon information and belief these body parts and tissue were given to Salerno for the purpose of using the body parts and tissue to train a cadaver dog."
The Dunns say they never gave permission for anything of the sort, and their son never expressed any intention that his body be used that way.
They also claim "that the defendant concealed their egregious conduct from the plaintiffs, who only learned of the incident after their son's funeral, when a criminal investigation was made of the defendants related to this conduct."
The Dunns seek punitive damages for emotional distress and negligence.
They are represented by Michael Dowd, of Lewiston, N.Y.
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