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Ky. Family Sues After Loved One's Body Falls From Casket

Posted by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 6:45 PM
  • 12 Replies

A Frankfort family is suing a cemetery they say dropped a casket during the burial, causing a body to fall out.

The family of 85-year-old Katherine Galbraith wants damages from Sunset Memorial Gardens for their handling of the remains during the transportation and burial on March 24.Family attorney Chris Haden told The State Journal that cemetery workers dropped the casket as they were lowering into the ground, causing the body to fall out. Haden says personal items, including a rose and pearl necklace, fell into the grave after the lid fell off the casket and Galbraith's body fell head first onto the ground."We believe they tried to lower the casket into the grave with a backhoe instead of a lowering mechanism, and that is when the casket fell off and broke open," Haden said.Galbraith's daughter, Ruth Ritter of Frankfort, said the cemetery called after the accident and said the casket had been scratched, but didn't disclose that the body had fallen out.The cemetery later disinterred Galbraith's remains, Haden said, and the family saw the full extent of the damage to the body and casket.Haden says family members found mud and abrasions on the body. Ritter said the condition of the remains and casket horrified her."My mother was the most meticulous person," Ritter said. "Even at the hospital (during her last few months of life) she wore lipstick and earrings every day."The cemetery reburied Galbraith two days later.The funeral home denies any wrongdoing.


by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 6:45 PM
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Replies (1-10):
atlmom2
by Susie on Feb. 12, 2012 at 6:56 PM

How do they know this?  I have never witnessed a casket going in the ground and no one I know has. 

steveiguana
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 7:06 PM

I did not tell them i am assuming that someone who was there talked about it and word got around

GertieK
by Silver Member on Feb. 12, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Common sense would say that using a back-hoe would end up with exactly those results.  OR, if one of the straps under the casket broke or slipped loose, that would too.  I have seen several bodies lowered into the ground, and it should never end up like that.  Shoddy work as far as the funeral home is concerned.  I just don't understand why they don't just fess up, and profusely apologize.  It sure would make for better publicity in the end.

specialwingz
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 7:32 PM

The casket has always been lowered while the family stands graveside at every funeral I've ever been to.

Quoting atlmom2:

How do they know this?  I have never witnessed a casket going in the ground and no one I know has. 


Punkie74
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 7:34 PM
I'm just curious what damages they are suing for? What cost did the family incur as a result of this?
atlmom2
by Susie on Feb. 12, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Wow, I have been to countless funerals.  Maybe its a regional thing or something.  I am from the midwest.  No one I know has watched a casket go in the ground either though.  Maybe its certain religions too?  I have no idea.  Personally, I would never ever want to stand and watch though.  Just me.  I guess since I never have its weird to me. 

Quoting specialwingz:

The casket has always been lowered while the family stands graveside at every funeral I've ever been to.

Quoting atlmom2:

How do they know this?  I have never witnessed a casket going in the ground and no one I know has. 



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specialwingz
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 7:36 PM

I find this difficult to believe.  All caskets are locked before being lowered into the crypt in the ground.  It is mandated by law.  I waas given my granda's casket key at the graveside by the funeral director.  He said it was what my grandpa had wanted done.

steveiguana
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 7:36 PM


Quoting Punkie74:

I'm just curious what damages they are suing for? What cost did the family incur as a result of this?

no clue other than mental duress I guess. I saw that and thought wow that is bad but the person it happened to is dead how can that person sue.

steveiguana
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 7:39 PM


Quoting specialwingz:

I find this difficult to believe.  All caskets are locked before being lowered into the crypt in the ground.  It is mandated by law.  I waas given my granda's casket key at the graveside by the funeral director.  He said it was what my grandpa had wanted done.

I think they went with the cheapest casket out there and then when it got dropped several feet it got damaged and the body fell out. I wasnt there so do not know but have been to some funerals where I wondered if the body was going to come out when they lifted it up to carry you could hear the bottom creaking like it was going to give out right there in the church.

DropZoneMom
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Okay....wait a minute....   The funeral home called and let the family know there had been an accident (right thing to do) -- so, apparently, they weren't present when it happened.   Then the Lady was buried.    Then the family insisted that she be dug up so they could look for scratches on the casket....and WTF????

What a bunch of litigious money-WHORES.


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