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Lompoc Woman Claims Bone Graft Gave Her Hepatits

Joining nearly 600 other patients across the country, Lompoc firefighter Nancy Johnson recently filed suit against Biomedical Tissue Services, a now defunct New Jersey based company accused of illegally collecting body parts from cadavers-some of which were diseased-and selling them for use in transplants. In 2005, Johnson received a bone allograft supplied with tissue from BTS at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, and she claims she contracted Hepatitis C as a result. At least two other Santa Barbara County residents are suing the company, and its distributors, which at one point provided tissue to 10,000 patients worldwide. Along with the civil cases, about 150 federal court cases have been filed and were recently consolidated under the management of a U.S. district court judge in Newark. Complaints in both the civil and criminal cases contain gruesome allegations; a North Dakota man’s lawsuit said BTS’s agents would replace harvested bones at funeral parlors with PVC pipe and other objects in order to avoid suspicion if the ceremony was scheduled to be open casket.

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