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Li v. New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens (2017)

The plaintiff in this case elected to have an abortion because genetic testing revealed that the fetus would not survive if brought to term.  After indicating that plaintiff wanted to have the fetal remains buried by the City of New York an autopsy of the fetal remains was requested.  The fetal remains was brought to the morgue instead of the pathology department.  The trial court granted plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on her right of sepulcher cause of action.  On appeal, MLN succeeded in having the court dismiss all of plaintiff’s claims with regard to the alleged failure to perform an autopsy on the fetal remains.  The Appellate Division also held that plaintiff was entitled to summary judgment on the right of sepulcher claim to the extent the burial of the remains was delayed.  Instead, the court found that there were questions of fact in this regard.  The two dissenting Justices of the Appellate Division, however, would have adopted our argument that the case should have been dismissed in its entirety.

Matthew Naparty