How to Sue a Funeral Home

By Bill Herrfeldt

You can sue a funeral home just as you can any other business. If you think a funeral home has committed a wrong, you can turn to the courts with your complaint and ask for a judgment. Like any business, funeral homes should be held accountable for their actions. Funeral homes are not above the law.

Have a good case. For example, if you find that the funeral home did not adequately prepare the body of a loved one, you have grounds for a lawsuit under the presumption that you and other survivors were not given the opportunity to grieve. Or you can sue if the body of a loved one was cremated but you received the ashes of someone else.

Hire an attorney. Some attorneys will take the case on a contingency basis, taking a percentage of the settlement in the event of a victory. Others will charge you a fee, win or lose. Regardless of your choice, find an attorney who has experience with cases involving funeral homes.

Make the case before the court that you are on solid legal ground and for the dollar amount you expect from the funeral home. Judges tend to dismiss charges against funeral homes on the basis of a lack of evidence. So you must document specific evidence in your filings in the case.

File a lawsuit against an employee of a funeral home as well as the funeral home itself. If you believe an employee was guilty of a wrongdoing, you can file suit against both that person and the funeral home under the presumption that the employee acted as an agent of the funeral home. You may receive a settlement from both.

About the Author

Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.

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