Deceptive Trade Practices Act Violation / Funeral Home

Everybody in Mansfield, Arlington, Grand Prairie, Dallas, Fort Worth, Coppell, De Soto, Burleson, Granbury, Aledo, and other towns in Texas will suffer the loss of a loved one. In fact it will probably happen many times. Have you ever wondered about the quality of services offered by the funeral home at this time of loss?
The Houston Chronicle recently ran a story about the services of a funeral home that were not acceptable. The article ran on August 9, 2010, and was authored by Allan Turner. The title of the article is, “Funeral Home Faces Suit Over State of Corpse.”
Allan Turner writes that a Richmond man is sueing a Pasadena funeral home claiming he suffered nausea, nightmares, emotional breakdowns, severe pain and suffering and emotional trauma, grief and sorrow after his son’s body arrived for burial in his native Uganda in a state of advanced decomposition.
He says in the article that Nicholas Jjemba, identified by his lawyers as an oil company employee, said in the lawsuit against Fairmont Funeral Home and Cremation Services that he had difficulty identifying his son’s remains when he arrived in Kampala, Uganda, about three weeks after he died in an accident.
It is reported that Jjemba’s son, 26 year old Noah Jjemba, died instantly on July 1, when he was pitched from the bed of a pickup truck while helping an acquaintance move.
The lawsuit papers seek unspecified damages from the funeral home and one of its employees for negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract. What is not mentioned is whether or not the lawsuit seeks damages under the Texas Deceptive Trade Pratices Act. The law has enforcement provisions to assist those who are the victims of violators of this law.
As for the funeral home, Heather Martin, a co-owner, said she was “shocked” by the lawsuit’s allegation, adding that the elder Jjemba had not informed the morturary of the problems. A requirement of a DTPA claim would be to give the funeral home a 60 day written notice of the complaint against them. Even in a breach of contract claim, a 30 day written notice of the complaint should be sent.
It is reported that Noah Jjemba’s corpse was so badly decomposed that the plaintiff … became violently ill as a result of not only the odor emanating from the coffin, but also from the visual impact of seeing a deceased child in such a decayed condition.
Judy Mingledorff, the lawyer said, “I know people are shipped from the Middle East war zone and don’t arrive in this state. I don’t know any reason why the body of this young man arrived in the shape it was in.”
The corpse’s condition is said to be documented on video.
The dead man’s brother, Jeremy Jjemba, said a local memorial service arranged by the funeral home was well handled, but he agreed that the body had “spoiled” en route to Uganda.