Funeral Home Negligence

The death of a family or friend is one of the most emotionally painful experiences an individual endures in his or her lifetime. During a time of grief and mourning, most families seek a supportive, dedicated funeral home-also known as a funeral parlor or mortuary-to handle funeral and burial arrangements for their loved one. Funeral homes handle a variety of services, usually depending upon the request of the family. This may include organizing a wake and/or funeral service, making cemetery or cremation arrangements, and working with a local newspaper to publish an obituary.

Families and friends typically expect respect, honesty, good faith, and sympathy from funeral homes during this time of mourning. Title 16 Section 453 of the Code of Federal Regulations-sometimes referred to as the "funeral rule"-controls the commercial practices of the funeral industry, including disclosure of prices and misrepresentation of services. Massachusetts also has its own set of rules and regulations governing funeral home directors and embalmers.

Unfortunately, however, sometimes a funeral home mishandles a deceased individual's body, or fails to provide due respect to the body and grieved family. Such situations, which run contrary to the iconic image of the sympathetic funeral home, are incredibly shocking and are more common than most people imagine. Funeral home negligence-which can be evident in multiple forms-only furthers the heartbreak and anxiety that accompanies death.

If you believe you have a claim of funeral home negligence, the Boston and Cambridge lawyers at Altman & Altman, LLP are here to help you. Our seasoned Massachusetts funeral home abuse attorneys understand that the passing of a loved one is difficult, and that negligence by a funeral home only adds to friends' and family's distress. We will work diligently to seek justice by pursuing emotional distress and punitive damages against the mortuary.

Examples of funeral home negligence and malpractice include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • cremating the wrong body or losing cremated remains
  • improperly embalming or storing a body
  • harvesting the organs of the deceased for resale
  • permitting an unlicensed person to embalm the body
  • stealing personal property (e.g., treasured jewelry, heirlooms, gold fillings)
  • burying the wrong body or burying a body in an incorrect plot
  • dropping a body during transport
  • using a broken or defective casket
  • failing to tend to a gravesite, resulting in vandalism
  • misappropriating money and overcharging for procedures
  • placing multiple bodies in one coffin

Funeral home negligence can be an incredibly distressing experience at an already difficult time. If you believe you have a claim of funeral home negligence, the experienced Massachusetts funeral home abuse lawyers at Altman & Altman, LLP, located in Boston and Cambridge, are prepared to help you seek justice. Our attorneys will listen carefully to your situation, answer any legal questions you have, and inform you of your legal options. To schedule a free, confidential consultation with an experienced funeral home negligence attorney at Altman & Altman, LLP, call 617.492.3000 or 800.481.6199 (toll free) or contact us online. Our phones are answered around the clock, 7 days a week, and we promptly respond to all emails.

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