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Jonathan Rosenfeld

March 2, 2023

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The death of a family member is a difficult time for anyone. However, many people find peace in being able to honor and visit their deceased loved ones one last time before saying goodbye. Funeral home negligence can leave disastrous marks on the psyche of a grieving family, fearing a loved one will be tainted with disrespectful and hurtful memories on the day they are laid to rest.

Do you believe a funeral home’s actions were neglectful and did not give your loved one the utmost professional respect? Schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney within our law firm. Our attorneys can represent you against those who have wronged your family at such a difficult time.

The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC will fight for your personal injury case and could help your family members recover compensation for such an event. Call our wrongful death attorneys at (888) 424 -5757 to schedule a free consultation. One of our lawyers will help you throughout the process of your legal action and reach a fair settlement on your behalf.

Our funeral negligence law firm is committed to aggressively pursuing damages on behalf of the deceased last wishes and whoever is paying for it to be done should receive what the establishment agreed to provide.

negligence of undertaker at funeral

What Is Considered Funeral Home Negligence?

The following is a list of some funeral home negligence examples:

  • Cremating the wrong body
  • Losing a person’s ashes
  • Improperly storing or embalming a body
  • Stealing personal property (wedding rings, gold fillings, jewelry, etc.)
  • Overcharging for procedures
  • Organs are harvested and sold as the donor tissue
  • Dropping a body during transport

Types of Funeral Home Negligence

There are various types of funeral abuse or carelessness after the death of a loved one, including:

Embalming Errors

Improper embalming or preservation of a body can lead to severe decomposition and terrible deformities. Errors typically occur when carried out by an untrained worker.

Cremation Mistakes

Mistakes can happen in the walls of burial facilities, allowing mixed ashes of different people or the wrong cremated remains are given to the family.

In rare instances, the funeral home may have the body cremated early or without the family’s permission to hide its inappropriate handling of the remains.

Improper Treatment of Remains

Any deceased person should have the same dignity and respect as anyone alive. Unfortunately, staff and funeral directors could improperly handle your loved one in the following ways:

  • Mutilation
  • Improper body storage
  • Misplacing of corpses
  • Dropping bodies during transport
  • Using a damaged casket

Improper Body Transport or Storage

  • Misplacing the body
  • Rough handling of the body during transport
  • Transporting multiple bodies together
  • Failing to store at the required temperature or in the proper container, allowing premature decomposition


Grave digging has been happening for centuries, but funeral home staff can take private property from the bodies they receive, including jewelry, prosthetics, gold teeth, and body parts. An example of stolen body parts is the corneas [1] that can be sold to research facilities or used for transplants.


Fraud in funeral negligence can take many different forms, such as:

  • Overcharging for services or laying the dead to rest without proper protection so caskets can be resold.
  • Fake requirements to collect money upfront for funeral and burial services that the deceased never receive.

Cemetery Negligence

Cemetery negligence can take many forms. Managers might bury a body in the incorrect plot or fail to bury the deceased per the request of the grieving family.

Staff can be ordered to move the body more than once after the initial burial, against the family’s wishes, refuse to maintain grave sites, or bury numerous bodies in one plot to increase revenue.

Failure to Provide Contracted Services or Goods

Here are some ways in which funeral homes have reportedly did not hold to their legal obligation:

  • Replacing a casket with a cheaper or defective one
  • Poor preparation for services to a decedent’s body for viewing
  • Not providing the grave marker after burial
  • Burying someone in the wrong cemetery plot

Shipping the Wrong Body

Having your loved one shipped is already a stressful enough process for families, along with the preparation to lay them to rest. These mistakes can be costly, causing extended pain and suffering.

A Lack of Timely Inspection

Mortuaries and funeral homes must undergo yearly inspections, maintain equipment and uphold licenses to remain in practice. If you notice that your loved one’s remains were mishandled in an establishment without meeting minimum requirements, consider calling an attorney to review your options for punitive damages.

Who Can Sue a Funeral Home?

Here is a list of potential surviving people that have the right to sue a funeral home:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Any heir in the deceased person’s will

How to Prove Funeral Home Negligence

The funeral home owed a duty of care.

Funeral homes owe their clients a duty of care to treat the deceased respectfully, fairly, and professionally. However, failing to fulfill these responsibilities often means their duty of care was breached.

The funeral home breached its duty of care.

The liable party failed to meet the standard of legal care when preparing, handling, or displaying the deceased or any breach of duties within those standards.

Losses were suffered as a result of funeral home abuse or negligence.

The funeral home’s actions may have led to emotional suffering and hardship for your family after the recent death of your loved one. In these instances, whether your family has suffered emotional or financial issues, funeral home negligence cases must be compensated through a compensation claim.

What Options Are There For Compensation?

Some common damages that are awarded include:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Emotional distress
  • Punitive damages
  • Compensation for stolen personal property

It is vital to have specialists on your side because damages in these instances are typically determined by existing case law. Punitive damages will depend on the case, and they are used to prevent many funeral homes from acting negligently in the future. Do not hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney to help you.

What To Do If You Suspect The Funeral Home Acted Negligently

It can be challenging to move through the depression of loss, much less fight against the emotional distress, loss of life’s enjoyment, and happiness now that they are gone. Consider taking action by beginning the following as soon as possible.

Record what has transpired

Make sure you write down everything you have discussed with the funeral home director in charge of your loved one’s funeral. Speak to family members, and encourage them to report what they know about the incident.

Save all documents

Keeping hard evidence such as receipts, death certificates, and any additional communication with the funeral home can aid you in your case.

Act immediately

You must immediately speak with a funeral home negligence lawyer if you believe the funeral home acted carelessly or disrespectfully. You can start a lawsuit and file a complaint with the aid of an attorney.

Seek Justice on Your Behalf Following the Negligent Handling of Your Loved One’s Remains

Has your family suffered due to the efforts of a negligent funeral home? Our lawyers will provide you with the best legal representation to pursue your personal injury claim. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC is an award-winning personal injury law firm dedicated to holding the responsible party accountable for their egregious actions.

If you and your loved one were wronged by the treatment of a funeral home providing burial services, contact our attorneys to help you through this emotional trauma. A lawyer within our office will provide quality legal counsel to seek justice for your departed loved one.

Contact our personal injury attorneys today at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form to arrange a free case evaluation so that we can gather the information we need to prove your case, let you know more about your legal options, and answer any questions you have about the legal process.

Our super lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis. Our team of attorneys will not accept compensation until we can recover the damages your loved one is entitled to on your behalf.

Resources: [1] Cleveland Clinic

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

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Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

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Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

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This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

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