Every once in a while people bring a declaration that includes “is nothing sacred anymore?” In the 21st century, many folks argue that there is very little in life that really is sacred any longer. With that said, one aspect of life actually involves the care of the remains of our loved ones after death. Considering the unique challenges of the times in which we live, a reasonable person might believe one of the last vestiges of sacredness in the world today is found in the services provided funeral homes and funeral directors. Sadly, with growing and alarming frequency, we are seeing instances of funeral homes violating that trust by engaging in careless and even intentional conduct that desecrates the mortal remains of loved ones. Because we all face the prospect of losing loved ones, you sadly need to be aware of what has happened in funeral homes across the country and what you need to do should we ever face such a calamity.
It’s important to note that the vast majority of funeral homes and funeral directors treat the remains of deceased individuals with the utmost of dignity and respect. Unfortunately, as in any industry, the funeral services profession attracts its own share of miscreants and ne’er-do-wells that engage in profoundly negligent or grossly inappropriate intentional conduct.
There are four types of negligence or misconduct that appear to be occurring with increasing frequency in the past decade:
- Negligence and misconduct surrounding cremations
- Unauthorized sale of bodies and body parts
- Inappropriate burial of bodies
- Negligent preparation of remains
Negligence and Misconduct Surrounding Cremations
Within the general category of negligence and misconduct surrounding cremations, the list of specific types of issues is rather lengthy. Cremation negligence and misconduct includes everything from improperly comingling cremains to not cremating a deceased individual’s remains as requested.
Unauthorized Sale of Bodies and Body Parts
You may be stunned to learn that a recurring type of misconduct involving funeral homes and funeral directors involves the sale of body parts and entire bodies without the consent or knowledge of family members and other survivors. Case involving the sale of entire bodies typically occur in situations in which a cremation of a deceased person was to occur. Those situations involving the illicit sale of body parts include situations involving cremation and traditional burial.
The horrific case of Sunset Mesa Funeral Home in Colorado underscores the depravity of this type of operation. The owners, a mother and daughter duo, were charged with federal crimes after it was discovered that they’d been selling bodies and body parts dozens of times for nearly a decade. These included bodies and body parts contaminated with infectious diseases that the pair of funeral directors advised were disease-free to unsuspecting buyers.
Inappropriate Burial of Bodies
Another type of negligence or misconduct involves the manner in which bodies are buried or interred. Inappropriate conduct in this area involves everything from improperly burying bodies in the same grave to not burying remains in the paid-for casket to not burying a deceased person at all.
Negligent Preparation of Remains
Yet another area in which funeral home negligence is a persistent problem involves preparation of the remains. Cases occur every year in which am embalmer fails to appropriate embalm the remains of a deceased individual, a grim reality that can have horrific results for surviving family members and other loved ones.
Every year there are situations in which a funeral home “loses” the remains of deceased individual. On an associated note, there are also cases in which a funeral home mixes up deceased individuals and buries or otherwise disposes of the remains improperly.
Funeral Home Negligence and Misconduct and Your Legal Rights
If you and your family have experienced the type of conduct we’ve discussed, or something similar, a funeral home negligence lawyer from The Doan Law Firm is available any time to discuss your legal rights. A case of this nature can be brought against a funeral home by the estate of a deceased individual or certain family members, depending on the specific circumstances.
A nationwide law practice, you can schedule an appointment with a funeral home negligence lawyer from our firm by calling us at (800) 349-0000 any time of the day or night, 365 days a year, including major holidays. We understand how uniquely stressful and egregious this type of trust violation is for you and our compassionate team will consult with you and evaluate your claim at no cost and no obligation.
The Doan Law Firm makes an attorney fee guarantee to you. We never charge an attorney fee unless we win for you.