Another Tulsa Lawsuit Filed Over Missing Organs

Thursday, July 30th 2009, 7:03 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A second family claims internal organs went missing from a young boy's body after his death.  On Wednesday, The News On 6 reported on a Tulsa-area family that is suing the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office and other businesses after their son died following an asthma attack.  That family is suing because they say their son's internal organs were missing after his autopsy. 

Now, a separate family, with a separate lawsuit, also claims a young boy's internal organs went missing after his death. The two cases happened 10 months apart.  The second one involved an 11-month-old boy who died during surgery at a Tulsa hospital.

Tyron Holmes had an older brother and sister and got to celebrate his first Christmas, but he didn't make it to his first birthday.  He was buried in a vest and tie in a tiny casket.

The lawsuit says Tyron had surgery on April 26th, 2007, by Dr. Richard Ranne at St. Francis. During an emergency surgery the next day, Tyron died. 

Holmes' lawyer says Tyron's mother, LaTonya Holmes, requested an autopsy, in order to see if medical negligence involved.  He says she was later told an autopsy could not be performed because Tyron's organs were missing.

"Mrs. Holmes' original reaction was shock and disbelief. It's bad enough her son died and on top of that, organs were removed and destroyed somehow.  It's beyond belief," said Holmes' attorney Dean Foote.

The attorney says it's harder to prove a claim that medical malpractice or negligence played a role in Tyron's death when the very evidence needed for that - the child's organs - are missing.

Foote says it's also a terribly traumatic thing for a parent to go through, and he has asked himself why someone would remove the organs.

"One, if you want to cover up or protect yourself, something you'd find within those organs. Two, if there's any financial gain for it, three, if it was accidental. If it was, someone should come forward and say I did take the organs out, but, didn't know I was not supposed to, but even if that's the case, why were they destroyed and where are they now?" said attorney Dean Foote.

The News On 6 contacted the attorneys representing each business being sued in the case.  Those who returned calls did not have anything additional to say, other than what's been filed in court.       

Everyone named in the suit has denied all the allegations and asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed.

It's important to note a lawsuit is an accusation, not proof of any wrongdoing.  Neither the families nor their lawyers sought publicity on these cases.  The News On 6 contacted them.