Mortuary mix-ups and blunders are far more prevalent than many people realize. From unapologetically leaving the body of a loved one unattended and improper care of the remains of the deceased, to drastic burial errors, funeral homes and mortuaries sometimes make horrific mistakes that impact grieving family members during one of the most difficult times of their lives.
As of May 2016, there were 1,580 morticians, funeral directors and undertakers throughout the state of Florida, representing the second highest levels of employment in the nation in this professional area. These Florida businesses potentially handle up to 191,000 funeral arrangements every year. Sadly, mistakes are inevitable. But what can you do when the person or business responsible for taking care of your loved one’s last wishes and final resting place behaves negligently?
Mortuary Malpractice Litigation
When a mortuary or funeral home breaches your trust, and fails to perform their duties properly, a legal cause of action may be the right choice. In some cases, it’s possible to sue multiple parties – the funeral home, the cemetery, and the individuals directly responsible for the errors.
Some legal methods of making mortuaries and funeral homes pay for their incompetence include:
- Individual civil lawsuits,
- A class action lawsuit, or
- A fraud/bad faith claim.
Through a civil lawsuit, you and your attorney charge these facilities with malpractice or negligence in the performance of their burial duties. If they have failed to perform appropriate and respectful end-of-life services, you and your family members may be able to recover financial compensation for your losses.
If you have suffered at the hands of a mortuary business that has made a practice of harming its clients and there are multiple victims, you may be included in a class action that pursues compensation from the offending business. If successful, you and the other plaintiffs will each receive a percentage of the total settlement amount.
Fraudulent funeral malpractice claims address intentional wrongdoings against you and your family members. These deceitful businesses take shortcuts and perform grossly unlawful acts motivated by greed. For example, they may sell you a coffin, but then bury your family member in a grave completely unshielded. You can sue for compensatory and punitive damages in these cases.
If you have experienced the trauma of a funeral or burial mix-up in Miami, contact a local attorney to discuss your rights. A lawyer familiar with the area funeral homes and mortuaries is better positioned to help you with your claim. He can represent your interests and pursue the justice that you and your family members deserve.
While legal action and financial compensation cannot make up for the emotional trauma you experienced, it does send a strong message to the negligent parties. Moreover, your lawsuit may prevent other Florida residents from enduring the heartache and indignity of a burial mix-up involving their loved ones. If you have questions about pursuing a burial negligence claim, contact the North Miami mortuary litigation attorneys at Charlip Law Group, L.C. to learn how we can help.