PHOENIX — A man is taking legal action after he says his father asked to be cryogenically frozen after his death. However, after he died, his body was cremated and only his head was preserved.
“I had spent life hearing about Alcor. I saw my first frozen body when I was a young child.” Kurt Pilgeram said about his father, Laurence, who in 1990 signed a contract with Alcor to have his entire body preserved on ice.
Alcor is a nonprofit organization based in Scottsdale, well-known for the location where former baseball legend Ted Williams' head resides.
Laurence would take out a life insurance policy to pay for the preservation.
In 2015, Laurence would be declared clinically dead.
Weeks later, Laurence's ashes would end up on his son's porch.
“I didn't know what I had. I didn't know if they made a mistake and put my name on somebody else's ashes,” Kurt said.
Alcor did freeze his father’s head—but cremated the rest of his body.
“It was, it was like, 'Oh my God, what am I going to do now?' Especially in this unusual situation. I mean who do you call? Who do you talk to, you know?” Kurt said.
According to the contract, Alcor was within its rights. Part of the contract states: “conversion to neuropreservation will take place at the sole and absolute discretion of Alcor….”
Which means it’s up to Alcor to decide if the entire body or just the head would be preserved.
No one disputes the contract allows the head to be removed, but Kurt's attorneys say Alcor did not act in good faith.
“Why have a contract at all saying they are going to keep my whole body but Alcor can chop off my head for any reason?” David Tappeiner, Kurt's lawyer said.
Alcor denies any wrongdoing and followed the contract signed by Laurence. In the original lawsuit, Alcor alleges Kurt tried to get the money from the life insurance policy "under the guise that he was concerned about unspecified issues with the cryogenic preservation."
This lawsuit is expected to go to trial. They are still in the discovery phase.