HOUSTON (September 4, 2013)—A Texas appeals court has lifted a stay that allowed a Houston-area hospital to withhold a former track coach's heart from his widow.
The ruling came in a nine-year legal fight between Christus St. Catherine hospital in Katy and Linda Carswell, the widow of Cypress-Fairbanks track coach Jerry Carswell.
The Langham Creek High School coach, who won a state title in 1997, died in January 2004 at the age of 61.
Linda Carswell ordered an autopsy, but her attorneys said no toxicology tests were ever performed that could have shown that her husband died of painkillers.
Carswell then learned her husband was buried without his heart, which was stored at Houston's St. Joseph Medical Center.
Eventually, a judge awarded her $1.75 million, but the hospital got a stay to keep the heart.