Lafayette

Oct 31, 2011 11:25 PM by Maddie Garrett

Wrongful Cremation Case Ends Without Trial

It's been two years since two bodies were mixed up at Lafayette General Medical Center, ending with a wrongful cremation. On Monday that case came to a close in the 15th Judicial Court in Lafayette.

In October 2009, 58-year-old Ruby Joseph died of a heart attack at Lafayette General. But her body was somehow switched with that of 82-year-old Rose Alex, even though both bodies were labeled correctly. Joseph's body ended up at Kinchen's funeral Home and then burned at Lafayette Crematory.

"Lafayette Crematory did not stand up to what they did, they burned our mother, they admitted they did not check the tags," said Kenneth Joseph, Ruby's son.

Joseph said cremation was not his mother's wishes, nor the family's.

"We were robbed, Lafayette Crematory robbed us from our mother's beliefs. Mama did not believe, the whole family did not believe in cremation," he explained.

While LGMC and the funeral home settled outside of court, the Joseph family still wanted to bring Lafayette Crematory to trial for its mistake.

"The last person that had mama that was the one that should have taken the full responsibility, everybody else, everything has been resolved," said Joseph.

The defense argued that the crematorium has no authority or responsibility to check the identity of a body before it is cremated. And Judge Durwood Conque agreed, stating Lafayette Crematory didn't violate any laws or its contract with the funeral home. He ruled there would be no trial against Lafayette Crematory.

"Today, I feel like here justice was not served. But just because it's not served does not mean that you give up, you have to keep going and that's what I'm in the process of doing," said Joseph.

Joseph said the family plans to appeal the ruling. Lafayette Crematory and its defense attorney declined an interview, but did say they agreed with the judge's ruling and felt it was fair and in compliance with the law.

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