Sanford Health countersues company claiming to find human torso in affiliated waste disposal facility

Photo by: WDAY Radio Staff (Canva)
Photo by: WDAY Radio Staff (Canva)

(Fargo, ND) -- Sanford Health has filed a counter suit against Monarch Waste Technologies following the alleged discovery of a human torso at a medical waste facility earlier this year.

The discovery of the alleged torso was made public late last week. Court documents filed by Sanford say Monarch HESI, an environmental and waste affiliate with Sanford, delivered and signed off on a drop-off of medical waste that contained a torso within a plastic container. Sanford claims Monarch did not claim the body part was delivered to them until the waste disposal company received a notice of default on their contract. 

Sanford says the notice of default was sent to Monarch because of the waste disposal company "complete failure to timely and safely dispose of was as it had agreed to do in the Disposal Agreement", according to court documents filed by Sanford.

A statement from Sanford Health claims allegations made by Monarch are "baseless", and that Monarch is filing the suit "in retaliation for the warranted termination of the parties' contract."

"All references to a 'torso' being mishandled or missing are deeply inaccurate, and deliberately misleading," said a spokesperson from Sanford Health in a statement, "The item alleged to be a 'torso' was a partial lower body research specimen used for resident education in hip replacement procedures. The specimen was clearly tagged by the external procurement company as “Human Tissue for Research” and was the type of routine biological material inherent in a medical and teaching facility like Sanford that Monarch guaranteed it would safely and promptly dispose... Once a teaching specimen’s use is completed for its educational purpose, it is packaged for sanitary destruction."

This is a developing story. You can read our original reporting by clicking here.