STS Quarterly Issue 11: September 2020

Can You Spare a Few Million Dollars?

You take meticulous care of every person entrusted into your care…but can you prove it?

Do you trust the people you call for transfer work with the survival of your business?

If these aren’t questions you’ve asked yourself, they should be. For one Florida firm, allegedly negligent transfer practices may end up costing millions. As the case plays out in court, the family and the funeral home find themselves in a nightmare scenario of allegations, grief, hurt feelings, negative press, legal fees, and even death threats.

At issue is the care of an 11-year-old girl, following her tragic death due to an asthma attack on a family vacation. The family contacted a funeral home to conduct the transfer to their home state and subsequent services. The firm is not a Selected member.

What happened in the 11 days between when the funeral home took custody of the child’s body, and when her mother, accompanied by law enforcement, entered the funeral home demanding to view the body, is now for the courts to decide.

The girl’s mother alleges she was repeatedly denied permission to see her child’s body prior to that 11th day, and upon viewing was shocked and distressed at the state of the body. She held a press conference, saying of her daughter’s body that it looked like someone, “threw acid on her face, or she was pushed into a fire and just left to burn.”

The family subsequently sued for millions, claiming among other things untimely and improper embalming, and improper refrigeration. The funeral home denies the claims and is seeking damages of its own.

While the objective facts of the case may never be fully known, what is undeniable is the need for clear communication, meticulous documentation, and a team of professionals you can trust with your livelihood and your reputation.

When a family comes to you in their time of need, rest assured in the knowledge that you can trust your fellow Selected members as well as the seasoned pros at Inman Shipping Worldwide and Eagle’s Wings Air.