They funeral home came to the hospice to pick up his body the day he died. A week later I signed all the paperwork they needed to proceed with the cremation. I paid them out-of-pocket b/c my brother didn't have insurance. They said they'd deliver them to the church the day of the memorial. We still do not have the ashes. His partner is still getting collections letters b/c we do not have a death certificate. I know at the bare minimum we may have an IIED/NIED case. I think there is a specific cause of action as well. What is it? And what are our options (yes, we intend to go to a lawyer but, I want to be prepared)
Family Law Attorney
I am sorry for your loss. These claims are typically based on a a negligence cause of action seeking damages for NIED and/or IIED depending on the specific facts of your case. My firm has handled similar cases where the funeral home substituted dirt in place of ashes after losing the remains of a loved one. These cases are oddly not too uncommon and are often unprosecuted because of the delays due to misinformation and grieving on the part of the surviving loved ones.
Hope this helps,.
Best of luck.
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Estate Planning Attorney
IIED/NIED are very difficult to prove, and you will have a hard time getting a judgment in a case like this. That said, if you want your brother's ashes, and the funeral home has refused, have an attorney write them a letter, showing proof of payment, and demanding the ashes. At least you can get the ashes and perhaps some small compensation for the delay. Hopefully you have a paper trail or log of your demands to the funeral home for the ashes.