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September 2018

Favorable Verdict for Funeral Home Regarding Alleged Mishandling of Decedents’ Remains

Tim Peeples obtained a favorable verdict on behalf of a Memphis funeral home in a class action proceeding involving the alleged mishandling of over 1,200 decedents at a local cemetery.  The jury found that the client, along with the other funeral home defendants did not breach their contracts with the family members of the decedents and did not negligently or recklessly mishandle the decedents’ remains.  The jury found in favor of the families on their breach of fiduciary duty claim but allocated just 1% of fault to the funeral home defendants, with the remaining 99% of the fault being assigned to the cemetery.  

Attorneys for the families sought damages of $2,500,000 to $5,000,000 per decedent in the damages phase of the trial.  The jury returned a verdict of $7,500 per decedent, which will be reduced to $75 per decedent after the application of the comparative fault finding.