My children's father passed away two years ago. He had remarried. Our adult children requested to have a portion of his ashes to which she agreed. She met them at a neutral location to do this and they received ashes from her. I, personally, did not trust that she would have the integrity to "do right" by our children, so I asked them at that time to get the ashes tested. No testing was done until now and we have discovered that I was right; she didn't give them human ashes. Of course, the emotional wounds are deep and healing has been interrupted. I am acting as an advocate for our children hoping to give them some type of comfort, guidance, information, advice, and direction. Please let me know what, if anything, can be done. If there is anything legally that can be done, then I will ask our children if they desire to hire a lawyer. Thank you...
Wow. Wow wow wow. Of course you (actually, probably the children) can sue, but: courts are designed to award money, not dispense justice. So several questions arise: (1) would mere money do the trick, and (2) is she collectible? Because, if there is a judgment for a million dollars, and the lawyer is supposed to get a third, and if he bank account has five grand, obviously no lawyer would want to take the case. But, if the story to be believed, it is outrageous (although not well explained--why would she care to go through the charade of changing one ash to another).
You may be able to make a claim in the probate court, especially if he died without a will. I might ask to see if you can use the old Intentional infliction of emotional distress argument (if that still exists). Good luck
I am sorry for your family's loss and what you are facing. A claim exists, but in these circumstances the issue is whether it is worthwhile to an attorney and to your children to pursue. As already noted, a financial claim may not bring closure. In fact, the process may stand in the way of closure. Then, considering financial remuneration, in typical claims, such as an auto accident, there are insurers. Here, anything awarded would, in all likelihood, have to be collected from the defendant individually, which rarely results in a case being worthwhile. If, somehow, this traces back to the crematory/funeral home, there may be more value in pursuing it. Certainly, review the facts and circumstances in an attorney consultation, but keep your expectations in check.
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There might be an intentional infliction of distress or other tort claim there, but it could cost more than the recovery might be. Court costs and other costs of suit would be expensive; whether you get those back is problematic. Emotional distress claims require witnesses and experts (MD or PsychD) are expensive.
If the children had severe emotional trauma then you should talk to a lawyer. Do this quickly; you may have already missed the statute of limitations if this happened 2 years ago.
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Each and every one of my colleagues have given you sage advice speak to an injury lawyer who can pursue one of the avenues to redress your wrong.
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