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AlexiaEsq.
AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  19+ Years of Legal Practice in Criminal Law.
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my husband passed away last year. this was very sudden and

Customer Question

my husband passed away last year. this was very sudden and we were not prepared for this with any arrangements. the hospital gave us one day to have his body removed from the morgue. my daughter-in-law began calling funeral homes to get prices. while we were at the home we had chosen, another funeral home forged ny name on a release form and presented it to the hospital and took my husband's body. when we found out what happened and tried to get his body returned to the hospital, it took them four hours to return his body. do we have a case against this funeral home and/or the hospital?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 4 years ago.
How long ago was this?

Have you yet to file a police report?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
when the officer talked to us on the 15th of may, 2009 he took a police report. my husband passed on the 14th of may,2009.
Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 4 years ago.

Hi wm,

 

I'm so sorry about this! You could have a case against the funeral home that essentially stole the remains of your husband - it almost sounds like they do this to get themselves business? strange. In any event, while the value of damages you could expect to receive would depend on what a jury believed would compensate you for the 4 hours of worry and stress and emotional upheaval, certainly it would be something. The question really is: Is it $500 or $50,000? You would also probably include a request for punative damages, for their intentional forgerty, which may lead to a higher damage award, if permissible, as a public policy method of deterring this kind of conduct in the future. ($500 may not be enough if the profit usually derived from coerced business is, say, $6k).

 

Now, as for the hospital - this is less certain - but I WOULD include them in the suit - did they check signatures? Did they have your signature on other documents such that they should have checked signatures? Did it look like yours? Not? Should they have checked, is that standard...all sorts of questions, but you would assert that yes, if you are requiring a signature, duh, clearly that would mean you should be checking it is of the person you require it to be from...and if the sig and your sig do not look alike, they may be negligent even if they did 'check' - since they did not do so adequately.

 

Consider asking some personal injury attorneys about taking this on, so you can better navigate the court procedure. But, if no one will, consider taking it on in small claims - your damages will max out quite low, like $3000, but if that is worth it to you, I wouldn't hesitate and you likely will not need an attorney to assist you.

 

Good luck here, and I am so sorry for your loss.

 

 

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