Ten of 21 plaintiffs who sued a now-shuttered Phoenix body donation company, will be awarded $58 million, a Maricopa County Superior Court jury decided Tuesday. Of the jury's award, $50 million was punitive damages and $8 million was compensatory.
Stephen Gore, the owner of Biological Resource Center, was not in the courtroom Tuesday and his lawyer declined to comment.
“This is a landmark verdict,” said Michael Burg, an attorney for the plaintiffs. "The best part here is that the jury sent a message to people like Gore who are doing this around the country. Fifty million in punitive damages is a warning."
Gwen Aloia, a Phoenix resident who was awarded $5.5 million, cried when she found out about the verdict, partly because she was disappointed for the 11 plaintiffs who got no award, she said. Aloia attended the entire trial and got to know some of the other plaintiffs and all had been traumatized, she said.