Funeral Home Did Them Wrong, Family Says

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (CN) – A family claims a funeral home charged them for embalming, casket dressing and cosmetics for their late mother, but left her body in a black bag for almost a week with no treatment.

     Nancy Jones and Annie Short say they signed a contract for funeral services with the Officer Funeral Home on Oct. 29, 2009, two days after their mother was found dead in her bed.
     On Nov. 2, Carl Officer, the funeral director, told them their mother’s body had an odor so it could not be present for the funeral service, according to the complaint. The plaintiffs say that during the service, one of the defendant’s employees told a mourner that the decedent’s remains were not in the casket.
     “Ms. Short observed her mother after the funeral prior to burial after Mr. Officer granted her request,” the complaint states. “The decedent’s remains were contained in a black bag. The bag was placed inside the casket provided by the plaintiffs. No cosmetics had been applied and her corpse was dressed in the same clothing as when discovered at her home six days earlier.”
     After taking their money, the plaintiffs say, Officer signed a Vendor’s Funeral Claim with the Illinois Department of Human Resources, requesting payment for funeral services, including cosmetizing, casketing and dressing.
     The plaintiffs seek damages for consumer fraud and deceptive business practices, and emotional distress. They are represented in St. Clair County Court by Daniel Finney of St. Louis.

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