Seven siblings in Texas have filed a lawsuit accusing a Houston funeral home of funeral home negligence for cremating their father’s body instead of preparing it for a funeral as they had requested. According to a news report in the Houston Chronicle, the lawsuit seeks $2.7 million in damages from Carnes Funeral Home alleging negligence which caused the family physical and mental problems including post-traumatic stress disorder, anguish and humiliation.
How did this horrible mix-up occur? The funeral home apparently mistook the body of Fred Woods, a 91-year-old black man for a white woman, whose family had requested that she be cremated. Both bodies were being handled through the county’s indigent burial program. A funeral home spokesman told the newspaper that employees apologized to the family and offered them a free urn, burial plot, head stone and funeral service to make up for their act of negligence. Not surprisingly, the victimized family has stopped communicating with the funeral home since the offer was made.
This is probably one of the worst cases of funeral home abuse that has been reported in recent times. It is unimaginable that a professionally run mortuary or funeral home could mistake a 91-year-old African American man for a Caucasian woman. How could this happen? And to make matters worse, the funeral home offers a complimentary urn to the hurt and grieving children for the wrongfully cremated remains of their father. It’s the height of insensitivity!
At Bisnar | Chase, we have been receiving an increasing number of complaints about local, California funeral homes and mortuaries, which have displayed carelessness, negligence and utter disregard for the dignity of the deceased. Will we fight these unethical companies until we get justice for our clients? You bet! We see such cases as an opportunity to righting a wrong. It is wrong to neglect the final wishes of any individual. It is wrong to violate the dignity of a deceased individual. And it is just wrong to put a grieving family through any more than what they’ve already gone through.
If you are a victim of funeral home negligence or abuse, please contact an experienced California funeral home negligence attorney to find out how you can pursue your legal rights.