Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
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.
Hope this helps to clarify. If it does, please click ACCEPT and follow up if needed after you do so. If you need more detail, please click Reply, not ReList and I will gladly respond. Also, if you exceeded the one question one answer standard, and the expert provided you with answers to your additional questions, BONUS is an appreciated way of saying thank you! This expert's credit proceeds go towards providing volunteer provisions for the disabled. Thank you for helping!
I believe I have answered your question and I hope you a better understanding of your legal issue as a result. As you know, I am only the messenger, not your attorney, nor can I create favorable law if it doesn't exist, so please don't hold it against me if the legal result is not what you wish. ACCEPTING the Answer a so ensures I will be able to assist your with your future legal question. In addition, Positive "FEEDBACK" and BONUSES are also appreciated. If you would like my assistance in the future, just put my name, STEPHANIE JOY, in your title or first sentence of a new post. Please keep in mind that I can only respond to your post and the information contained in it, as I do not know what you know unless you describe it fully. Also, due to site tech reasons, oftentimes I am initially only able to see the first part of your post, so I apologize in advance if it means more interactions between us. At times, there can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break, or if it is late at night, I may have to go get some shut eye til morning, but rest assured, I'll be back for you. Thanks
S. Joy, Legal Expert
My Standard and Required Legal Disclaimer. The information given by me here is not legal advice. You should not and may not rely on anything on this website as legal advice and you agree that the nominal price you may voluntarily pay for information here clearly does not pay for any legal advice. I am neither establishing nor accepting an attorney-client relationship with you. You must hire an attorney in your state as a matter of law, in order to receive legal advice and attorney/client relationship and rights. I do not claim to be licensed to practice in the state where this information is being provided or whose law would apply, if any. My licensing credentials are noted in my profile, which you have full access to. As law is always changing, you are recommended to consult with the appropriate legal counsel in your jurisdiction for accurate and complete information. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX a great day.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).