Mistreatment of a Corpse
The passing of a loved one is difficult under the best of circumstances. The coronavirus pandemic has only complicated the grieving process, as many funeral homes have put an end to large ceremonies in favor of small gatherings and live streams.
Although the majority of mortuaries have navigated the COVID-19 crisis admirably, others have fallen tragically short of rewarding the trust they’ve been given.
In this time and always, funeral homes have a responsibility to treat the deceased with the utmost care and respect. If you lost a loved one during the COVID-19 outbreak – whether due to the novel coronavirus or another cause – and suspect the mortuary may have mistreated their remains, our attorneys are here to help.
Contact us for a free, no-risk case evaluation.
What Is Mistreatment of a Corpse?
A corpse must be stored properly and treated in a dignified manner. Sadly, amid the coronavirus pandemic, numerous examples of corpse mistreatment have been uncovered. Notably, a New York City funeral home was caught storing dozens of bodies in unrefrigerated U-Haul trucks. The stench was described as “overwhelming” and lingered for weeks.
This isn’t the only form of corpse mistreatment funeral homes may be culpable for. For example, they might:
- Abuse a corpse
- Improperly dispose of a body
- Steal and sell organs
- Bury a body in the wrong plot
- Bury the wrong body
- Steal jewelry or other property
- Drop a corpse during transport
How Is Funeral Home Negligence Proven?
Funeral homes have a responsibility to care for the bodies of the deceased. If they intentionally or accidentally harm a corpse, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.
In order for the funeral home to be found liable, negligence must be established. This involves demonstrating four elements:
- Duty: The funeral home owed a duty of care, that is, they were responsible for treating the decedent in a respectful, reasonable manner.
- Breach: The funeral home breached their legal obligation to avoid harming your loved one’s remains.
- Cause: The breach directly caused you harm.
- Losses: You suffered losses as a result of the breach (emotional, financial, or otherwise).
Contact a Funeral Lawyer
The coronavirus pandemic has overwhelmed many funeral homes, but that doesn’t mean your loved one isn’t entitled to dignity and respect. If a funeral home acted negligently, contact our attorneys. We may be able to help you recover compensation in this trying time.
Schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation now.