Funeral Abuses Can Be Devastating to Grieving Families
Mortuary and crematory malpractice cases can present the most shocking practices in an industry that portrays itself as caring. It can be devastating to learn that the funeral home you trusted to perform proper and dignified services did the contrary. These incidents are from actual funeral abuse cases we have handled:
- Harvesting organs from the deceased for sale to biologic supply companies prior to embalming;
- Stealing gold fillings from the mouths of deceased persons for resale;
- Commingling bodies during cremations, forever intermixing the cremated remains of strangers;
- Disposing of cremated remains in cemetery flower beds instead of scattering the remains at sea;
- Storing bodies in undignified ways, without proper refrigeration;
- Hosing portions of a deceased person's cremated remains down the drain to clean up a botched cremation;
- Losing cremated remains stored in the mortuary vault.
Brayton Purcell helped confirm the rights of people to sue for damages whenever their loved one or close friend is the victim of desecration of funeral home services. The California Supreme Court decision in Christensen v. Superior Court (1991); 54 Cal.3d 868 remains the leading case authority establishing these rights.
We have achieved the highest verdicts and settlements in the nation in cases involving the mishandling of funeral services and cremations. This includes punitive damages against a funeral home for losing the cremated remains of a families' loved one and attempting to blame one of the family members for the loss (May L. Conway v. Gates, Kingsey & Gates (1992); Case No. WEC 113827, Los Angeles Superior Court, CA).
We strongly feel that class actions are against the best interests of individuals victimized by funeral home or crematory misconduct. We oppose their use because in this area of legal practice, class actions often result in less recovery for individual claimants and benefit class counsel more than the victims. We believe that the aggressive pursuit of individual funeral abuse cases achieves fairer remedies and provides an effective check on the funeral home industry.
If you believe that the remains of a member of your family have been mistreated, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.