Payout to brother of star over organ harvesting
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Payout to brother of star over organ harvesting

Dudu Topaz’s sibling wins NIS 300,000 ($85,000) settlement for removal of heart from famed entertainer who killed himself

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

The heart of Israeli entertainer Dudu Topaz is buried at his grave at the Yarkon cemetery on May 30, 2012. (photo credit: Yehoshua Yosef/FLASH90)
The heart of Israeli entertainer Dudu Topaz is buried at his grave at the Yarkon cemetery on May 30, 2012. (photo credit: Yehoshua Yosef/FLASH90)

The brother of Israeli entertainer Dudu Topaz agreed to a cash settlement in a lawsuit against a police forensic institute that removed Topaz’s heart during an autopsy after he committed suicide in prison, and then stored the organ.

The state agreed to pay Mickey Goldenberg NIS 300,000 ($84,550) in compensation for the incident, which took place at the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Tuesday.

Last May Goldenberg sued the institute and its former director Yehuda Hiss for NIS 2.5 million ($704,000) over the wrongful removal of his brother’s organ without the family’s knowledge.

In its defense statement the institute claimed it was an innocent mistake and that its actions were “impeccable.”

In March 2012 the state was forced to pay out NIS 3 million ($845,000) in compensation to the families of soldiers whose bodies were mishandled at Abu Kabir.

Former television personality Dudu Topaz in court in Tel Aviv in 2009. (Photo credit: Roni Schutzer/Flash90)
Former television personality Dudu Topaz in court in Tel Aviv in 2009. (Photo credit: Roni Schutzer/Flash90)

The families sued the state after they discovered that the institute had saved tissue and organs from the soldiers, as well as other individuals, after unauthorized autopsies.

The report noted that in his lawsuit Goldenberg stated that he would donate all of the money he receives to a charity organization that helps disabled people.

In January, investigations revealed that the institute, under the leadership Hiss, kept more than 8,000 body parts in storage.

Hiss had already admitted in 2005 that the institute had harvested heart valves, skin, and bones from the bodies, but said that the practice no longer took place.

Following the revelations in January, the Knesset held hearings on guidelines for handling dead bodies.

According to the Yedioth Ahronoth report, some of the labels on containers holding the body parts were too faded to allow the identification of their origin. Thousands of the organs have since been buried, including Topaz’s heart, which was interred in his grave.

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