Cremation Mixup Ends Up in Court

     DALLAS (CN) – The family of a Dallas woman claims in court that a funeral home confused her body with another person’s, so no one knows now whose cremated ashes are whose.
     Five siblings and the son of Sheila Sterling sued Gonzales Funeral Home and Crematory, S.E. Funeral Homes of Texas, Global Mortuary Affairs and J.E. Keever Mortuary in Dallas County Court.
     They say they had planned an open casket viewing with Gonzales immediately before the Sept. 10 funeral, but were told that morning that such a viewing was not possible.
     Apparently, the body of Sterling, a black woman, was mixed up with the body of a white man the night before, possibly due to the transporter receiving another call while transporting Sterling’s body, the complaint states.
     Her body was delivered to J.E. Keever, the wrong mortuary, and was believed to have been already cremated before the scheduled viewing.
     The family claims that representatives of Gonzales and Global Mortuary Affairs were unable to confirm the ashes the family was given were Sterling’s, saying that “as close as they could tell, after a process of elimination, the remains may be those of Ms. Sterling” but they were “not really sure.”
     The plaintiffs seek damages for negligence and breach of contract. They are represented by John Howie in Dallas.

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