Schumacher Lab To Be Unsealed
Mysterious pharmaceutical company ordered to open lab to survivors and friends of victims.
By RACHEL O'ROURKE | Dec 20, 2018
Schumacher Laboratory The site of the former medical facility has become home to the local transient population Zach Filkoff
December 20, 2018
Jameson Pharmaceutical, owners of the ill-fated Schumacher Laboratory in downtown Manhattan, settled earlier this week with the survivors and friends of the individuals who died during an illegal medical experiment in early 2014. The settlement agreement includes access to the Canal Street basement laboratory for up to 20 of the victims’ family members and close friends. The space has been closed to the public for almost five years.
Throughout 2013, Dr. Kevin Schumacher, an independent contractor for Jameson Pharmaceutical, conducted medical research into Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease) without FDA or other government oversight. According to family, Dr. Schumacher was motivated to “bypass red tape” after the death of his son, Alex, in 2008. Dr. Schumacher worked with a group of five volunteers afflicted by the disease, selected for their unusual demographics (two of the subjects were under the age of 25, while the other three were females with young-onset ALS). After an incident early in 2014, the details of which were never released, all five test subjects were declared deceased. Dr. Schumacher was found dead by apparent self-inflicted means and Jameson Pharmaceuticals sealed off access to the laboratory.
Jameson Pharmaceuticals immediately paid all necessary fines and settled with both the Federal Government and the City of New York for unknown sums. However, a group of survivors and friends, financed by Lee Myers, a venture capitalist with Sutherlands NY, refused any financial offers and initiated a class-action lawsuit. Initially, the lawsuit demanded access to the bodies. The company, however, revealed that the bodies had already been cremated and disposed of to “prevent contamination.” Since 2014, the survivors have fought instead for access to the laboratory where the test subjects died, an effort vigorously opposed by Jameson Pharmaceutical. Now, facing subpoenas that would reveal principle stakeholders in the corporation, the company has agreed to allow access within three months to the site.
“I just want it to be over,” said Mildred Farkle, sister of Michael Farkle, who died in the laboratory. “It’s been five years. I’m tired of thinking about it, but I need to find out what happened to my brother.” Other survivors and friends could not be reached for comment.