A family in Lake Worth, Florida, is suing Service Corporation International Funeral Services for funeral home negligence after the cemetery not only wrongly marked their father Jose Herrera's grave, but also told the family they did not know where the man's body was. According to a news article in the Palm Beach Post, the incident obviously traumatized the family, which often visited what they believed to be their father's grave leaving small Cuban flags and Yankee memorabilia. The family found out about the mix-up when they wanted to bury Herrera's wife, Rosa, next to him two years ago. To this day, Herrera's children and grandchildren do not know whose grave they were visiting or whether there was someone else buried there.
The lawsuit, filed by Herrera's son Jose Herrera Jr., claims compensation for emotional distress and mishandling of the body as well as misrepresentation that it was the final resting place for his father who passed away in 2003. The family is seeking damages in excess of $15,000. Rosa Herrera's body was buried temporarily until crews located her husband's remains, which took approximately one month. The remains were located 75 feet away from the marker that read "Jose Herrera Sr." Although Herrera's name was on the casket, family members say now they have doubts whether even those remains are their father's.
Apparently this is not the first "incident" involving problems at SCI. In 2001, families made claims that managers at cemeteries operated by SCI in Florida oversold and misplaced plots and dug up and scattered remains to make room for others. About 9,000 families made claims and 350 of those will receive damages from the $100 million settlement.
Funeral home negligence and abuse is getting to be a huge issue in California and across the country. Bisnar | Chase is representing several clients who have been victimized by local funeral homes. These horrible incidents take an emotional toll on grieving families who have already been through a lot. Such cemeteries and funeral homes that cause more grief to already grieving families should be held accountable for their negligence and/or wrongdoing. If you have been a victim, please contact an experienced funeral home negligence and abuse attorney to find out more about your legal rights and options.