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Alcor Life Extension Foundation v. Richardson

Court of Appeals of Iowa
785 N.W.2d 717 (Iowa Ct. App. 2010)


Facts

On June 1, 2004, Orville Richardson arranged for Alcor Life Extension Foundation (Alcor) (plaintiff) to receive Richardson’s remains after his death for the purposes of cryogenic research and preservation. Richardson paid a $53,500.00 membership fee and executed a number of documents by which Alcor was required to cryogenically preserve Richardson’s head. In 2008, David Richardson and Darlene Broeker (defendants), siblings of Orville Richardson, were appointed co-conservators for Richardson after he developed dementia. From conversations with Richardson, and in the course of fulfilling their duties as co-conservators, the defendants learned of Richardson’s arrangement with Alcor. Nevertheless, when Richardson died in 2009, the defendants had Richardson’s remains buried. When Alcor learned of Richardson’s death, it demanded Richardson’s remains and sought a district court order requiring the defendants to arrange for the disinterment of Richardson’s body. The district court denied Alcor’s request, finding that the defendants were entitled to determine how to dispose of Richardson’s remains.    

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Mansfield, J.)

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