NASHVILLE (CN) - A Florida man claims in a federal lawsuit that he didn't learn of his daughter's murder for more than a decade because no one bothered to tell him.
Gerald Fletcher sued Forensic Medical Management Services and Oakdale Funeral Home -- the two entities that had custody of Kerry Fletcher's body after her death -- in Federal Court.
According to Fletcher's complaint, his daughter was murdered in Nashville on March 18, 2002, but he didn't find out about it until Dec. 20, 2013.
Instead, he says, after Kerry Fletcher was strangled to death by a murderer, her body was taken to Davidson County, Tenn., morgue, where Forensic Medical Management employees determined the cause of death, and then released her body to Oakdale, which soon buried her without Fletcher's knowledge.
"Defendants Forensic Medical and Oakdale were aware that plaintiff was the father of decedent, documented by his name being listed on, among other documentation, the certificate of death," the complaint states. "Since defendants withheld the information of his daughter's death from the plaintiff, he was unable to attend her funeral, to timely mourn her loss, to determine how her remains should be handled, and, he continued to search for her through more than 12 years, not knowing what had become of his daughter."
Due to Forensic Medical and Oakdale not informing him of his daughter's death, Fletcher was also unable to find and help raise his granddaughter, who was a year old at the time of her mother's murder, according to the complaint.
"Plaintiff has suffered severe emotional distress for over 12 years as a result of not knowing that his daughter had passed away, and continues to suffer severe emotional distress due to the lack of knowledge of his granddaughter's upbringing and lack of having a relationship with her since he was denied contact," the lawsuit says.
Fletcher seeks $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages on claims of violation of state law, interference with right of burial, and infliction of emotional distress.
He is represented by Stephen Crofford of Parker & Crofford in Nashville.
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