In life, Queens mechanical engineer George Cardel was a science buff, and his relatives say he was determined to donate his body to medical science. But after he died of a heart attack last year at age 59, medical science didn't want him. Even though there is a shortage of cadavers for medical students' anatomy classes, Cardel's corpse was rejected because it was too heavy, a lawsuit alleges. "The deceased weighed too much," attorney Eric Rothstein, who is representing Cardel’s sister, tells the Daily News, which reports that the lawsuit alleges "grave humiliation."

Cardel weighed about 300 pounds at the time of his death. "He was stocky, heavy-set,” says one relative. “I can't say he was pleasantly plump.” After his death, hospital officials say they tried to place his corpse with the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine at Hofstra University, but it was rejected, according to the lawsuit. Apparently no other facilities would take the corpse either, and when the spurned remains were returned to the family 13 days later, they were "so badly decomposed it required cremation."

Former New York City chief medical examiner Michael Baden says he's not surprised, and tells the News, "An obese person would be harder to dissect because of the amount of fat tissue under the skin." The lawsuit seeks $2 million in damages for Cardel's sister.