Appeals court hears re-arguments on missing brain case

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Arguments were heard in the Albany Court of Appeals on Thursday on a case involving a brain that was kept in jar.

Jesse Shipley, 17, was killed in January 2005 in a car accident on Staten Island. An autopsy was performed the next day, but his brain was kept for later examination without his family knowing.

Jesse Shipley
Jesse Shipley

His family didn’t make the discovery until after his burial when a high school classmate found Shipley’s brain labeled in a jar while on a school field trip to the medical examiner’s office. They requested to have everything returned.

The medical examiner’s office complied, and a second burial of the teen’s organs was held. Now, the court will have to decide how long medical examiners can keep organs for autopsy, and do they have to tell family.

Seven judges listened to 30 minutes of re-arguments from both sides on Thursday.

Council representing New York City argued no laws were broken or violated. Council representing the Shipley family said next of kin should be notified if and when any organs or tissues from their loved on is kept by the medical examiner’s office for any reason.

The Shipley family is seeking $600,000 for emotional damage.

No word on when a decision will be made.

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