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Man Says He Wouldn’t Fake Cadavers

INDIANAPOLIS (CN) - A funeral director claims in court that he was constructively fired because he refused to follow orders to mix and match parts to create three fake cadavers - a felony - after the funeral home lost them.

David Eckert sued Alpha Funeral Service in Marion County Court.

Eckert claims he started working for Alpha Funeral Service in January 2012, and reported to the owner, Anthony Edwards.

Alpha Funeral Service LLC is the only defendant.

"Throughout Eckert's employment, defendant routinely loaned cadavers to Indiana University's School of Medicine," Eckert says in the complaint.

"In the summer of 2012, the Director of the Anatomical Education Program for Indiana University's School of Medicine, Paul Fox, made inquiries into the remains of cadavers 7473, 7514, 8125.

"Eckert and Edwards could not locate the remains of cadavers 7473, 7514, and 8125.

"Defendant lost the remains of cadavers 7473, 7513, and 8125, and has never identified their true location.

"After continued and repeated requests by Fox to produce 7473, 7513, and 8125, Edwards finally ordered Eckert to 'get this handled and taken care of.'

"The only possible way to 'get this handled and taken care of' was to create fake remains and false ID tags, and misrepresent the identify to fake remains to Fox and the heirs of 7473, 7514, and 8125.

"Eckert understood Edwards' statements as an order to gather three (3) separate containers of random remains, and to misrepresent or fake the identities of these remains to Fox and the heirs of 7473, 7514, and 8125.

"Eckert refused this order.

"Prior to this order, Edwards had previously misrepresented the identities of remains, with Fox's compliance."

Knowingly misidentifying human remains is Class D felony in Indiana, according to the complaint. Had he followed the order, Eckert said, he also could have been charged with corrupt business influence, deception, identity deception, and interfering with reporting a crime.

"Upon information and belief, after Eckert refused this order, Edwards and/or another individual misrepresented or faked the identities of these remains to Fox and the heirs of 7473, 7514, and 8125," the complaint states.

Eckert says he resigned on Oct. 16, 2012, "to avoid potential criminal and/or civil liability."

He seeks lost wages and punitive damages for wrongful constructive discharge.

He is represented by John Haskin and Ryan Sink with John Haskin & Associates, who could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

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