AG says funeral home mishandled bodies

Chris Rizo Jul. 26, 2008, 5:14pm

Jay Nixon (D)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - The Missouri attorney general's office has accused a Columbia, Mo., funeral home of improperly handling bodies.

Attorney General Jay Nixon filed his lawsuit Friday in Boone County against Warren Funeral Chapel Inc., and its operators Harold Warren Jr. and Harold Warren Sr.

The lawsuit says in one case, a body was placed in an electrical room for 10 months without neither being embalmed nor refrigerated.

The woman died Sept. 9, 2007, from hepatitis. Her body was
discovered by state inspectors July 11, 2008. When inspectors returned four days later, the body was still there, court papers say.

The lawsuit also says there have been several cases where bodies have been left outside refrigerators and not embalmed for more than 24 hours.

The attorney general is seeking civil fines and a court order barring the company or its owners from operating.

"There are very serious concerns for human health and safety about how this establishment has handled human remains," Nixon said in a statement.

"Based on the problems inspectors have found, there's no question that what has happened here needs to be stopped, and that the defendants need to be stopped from practicing as funeral directors and embalmers until or unless they can verifiably demonstrate they can operate within the law," he said.

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