A death of a family member or a friend is a tough time for anyone. The funeral process should bring closure and peace of mind; we should be able to trust the funeral home we choose to handle our loved one’s body. Unfortunately, not all funeral homes can be trusted to properly and humanely handle the funeral/burial process. In those unfortunate circumstances, family members may file a funeral home negligence claim.
Incidents of Funeral Home Negligence:
Funeral home negligence comes in many forms. Whether negligent or intentional, the incidents listed below are just a sampling of potential funeral home negligence claims:
- Embalming errors
- Detached body parts
- Physical or Sexual abuse of the deceased
- Negligent embalmment
- Burying two or more bodies in the same coffin or misplacing a body in the wrong coffin
- Cremation mistakes
- Loss of cremated remains
- Mishandling remains
- Loss of the body at time of funeral
- Cemetery negligence
- And many more
How widespread is funeral home negligence?
Unfortunately, this type of negligence occurs more frequently than folks realize. Sometimes, the negligence is due to an unethical operator. Usually however, it is due to poor training, understaffing, improper supervision and failing to install checklist procedures much like an airline pilot would follow, to prevent mistakes. The Division of funeral, cemetery & consumer services regulates the death care industry in Florida. There are several informative videos on the its website myflorida.com/division/funeralcemetery/consumers.
What is the National Funeral Directors Association?
The National Funeral Directors Association provides “expertise and professional resources for all facets of funeral service.” The organization “is dedicated to supporting members in their mission to provide families with meaningful end-of-life services at the highest levels of excellence and integrity.” Essentially, the NFDA monitors funeral home activities and services, and sets standards by regulating these activities and services. The NFDA’s enforceable Code of Professional Conduct “outlines various ethical and professional practices to which NFDA member funeral homes must adhere. The code addresses the obligations of the funeral professional in five key areas: 1) obligations to the Family, 2) to the Care of the Decedent, 3) to the Public, 4) to the Government and 5) to NFDA.”
What Should you do?
If you believe a loved one has been harmed by the negligence of a funeral home, contact the NFDA to file a complaint and hire an experienced attorney. At the Brooks Law Group, our attorneys have years of education and experience to represent you in the best way possible. Call us at 1-800-Law-3030.