Funeral Home Neglect Attorney in NYC
The death of a loved one is difficult under the best of circumstances. When negligence on the part of the funeral home or cemetery is piled on top of your grief and sense of loss, the pain can be unbearable. Mistakes in this area are not as uncommon as you might think and can be devastating to mourners. Negligence in the process of burial or cremation is known legally as “loss of sepulcher rights,” meaning the loss or destruction of the body of a loved one and/or the interference with your legal right to dispose of your next of kin. If you have had the terrible experience of having the remains of your loved one mishandled or lost, you do have legal recourse. You are entitled to substantial compensation for your ongoing anguish over misconduct that cannot be remedied.
What you need in this situation is the assistance of a strong personal injury attorney who will fight for your rights and the rights of your loved ones. At Katter Law, we have well-honed strategies for dealing with such situations. Our excellent track record attests to the fact that we know precisely how to leverage our negotiation and litigation skills to your advantage. Beyond that, we always remember how sensitive this type of case is and treat you with the dignity and compassion you deserve. Contact Katter Law today to learn how we can assist you.
Examples of Funeral Home/Cemetery Negligence
Though each case of funeral home/cemetery negligence is unique, there are some common varieties of mistakes and fraudulent behavior. In some cases, mistakes are made through carelessness or because of poor record-keeping; often, deception is used to try to cover up such errors. In other cases, there is deliberate manipulation of grieving families into spending much more money than necessary. Examples of such sloppy or unethical behavior include:
- Disseminating false information about the necessity to embalm
- Deceiving customers about the availability of less expensive coffins
- Selling inferior, damaged, or shoddy caskets at high prices
- Substituting a cheaper casket at the time of burial than the one previously paid for
- Failing to send an obituary notice to a news outlet as promised, resulting in poor attendance at the funeral
- Failing to deliver the monument within the promised time period although there is a contract in place (breach of contract)
- Dropping the casket or body while transporting it
- Improperly embalming or storing the body
- Losing the cremated remains or presenting the wrong remains to the family
- Mixing cremated remains of two or more bodies
- Burying the wrong body/ burying the body in the wrong plot
- Stealing personal property, such as jewelry, from the body
- Overcharging customers who don’t have the time or will to cross-check prices
Even more outrageous acts have been committed by funeral homes and cemeteries. Though they may seem unbelievable, all have occurred at some time:
- Burying an empty coffin
- Stealing organs from corpses and selling them
- Abusing a corpse
- Improperly disposing of a body
- Digging up a casket and reselling it
- Putting multiple bodies in one coffin
It may seem unimaginable that funeral homes or cemeteries would take advantage of grieving customers, but greed and lack of empathy make some people behave abominably. The majority of those who run funeral homes or cemeteries are honest professionals who take pride in their work, but if you are confronted by one of the unsavory members of the occupation, you must avail yourself of Katter Law Firm’s services. We know that your grief has made you an easy target and we will ensure that you are compensated for the money you have spent as well as for the pain and trauma you and your family have suffered.
Katter Law Will Inform You of Your Rights
Our well-informed attorneys will clarify your options regarding your dealings with a funeral parlor or a cemetery. For one thing, If you begin to feel coerced into paying exorbitant amounts for products or services you don’t want, you have the right to use another facility, even if it means moving the body to a different location. Also, many people in New York State don’t realize that in the Empire State:
- Bodies do not have to be embalmed
- You may purchase your casket elsewhere than the funeral parlor
- You may bury a body on your own property if you have a very large plot
- The funeral parlor is required by law to inform you that the body may be buried in a simple wooden or cardboard box rather than a casket. While it is also true that NYS does not require any container for the body during burial, the cemetery may have its own rules about this matter.
You should be aware that funeral directors must abide by Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules — known collectively as the Funeral Rule, which includes giving you an itemized list of general services and products before you make your decisions. Funeral homes are only permitted to charge you one “basic,” non-negotiable fee. If you provide the casket, the funeral home is not permitted to charge you for this. Finally, if the funeral home misrepresents the FTC regulations, it is breaking the law. If the funeral director tells you that some particular product or service is “required by law,” make certain to ask for a copy of the law for verification.
Contact Katter Law
To win a personal injury claim for funeral negligence or abuse, we will have to prove that the owners of the facility we sue owed you a duty of care, that they breached that duty, and that their breach resulted in your injuries or loss. If you have had an experience similar to any of those mentioned above, we will work diligently to obtain compensation for the emotional pain suffered by you and other family members. Though we can’t restore the peace and dignity that should have been part of your loved one’s funeral, you can trust us to win you every dollar of compensation you’re entitled to and to restore your sense of justice. Contact Katter Law today to learn how we can assist you.