Court fight over frozen remains

March 1, 2010 at 10:55 PM
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COLORADO SPRINGS, March 1 (UPI) -- The frozen body of a Colorado woman is at the center of a dispute between her daughter and a cryogenic preservation facility, court documents show.

El Paso County Magistrate Barbara Hughes directed the body of Mary Robbins be kept packed in dry ice while the family decides if it wants to contest Hughes' ruling the body should go to Alcor Life Extension Foundation, as set out in Robbins' will, The (Colorado Springs) Gazette reported Monday.

Darlene Robbins of Pueblo, Colo., is contesting the will, saying her mother had changed her mind on cryogenics a few days before her Feb. 9 death from cancer.

Hughes has put a 72-hour stay on her ruling to allow Robbins to take the case to the Colorado Court of Appeals.

"All I can say is that we're disappointed," Robbins' lawyer, Robert Scranton, said.

Part of the dispute concerns a $50,000 annuity Mary Robbins had set aside to cover the expenses of her cryogenic preservation, the Gazette said. The family says Robbins changed the annuity beneficiary away from Alcor to her estate.

Alcor officials say they are ethically bound to honor the contract that Mary Robbins signed in 2006.

"This case has always been about the written intentions of Ms. Robbins," Eric Bentley, an attorney for Alcor, said. "Any suggestion that this case is about money is completely wrong."

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