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Woman Sues Because Husband Placed in Wrong Crypt

By Andrew Lu | Last updated on

An Ohio woman is suing a cemetery for placing her husband in the wrong crypt.

Barbara Brown attended the funeral of her late husband last year and noticed that something was off. The ashes of William Brown were supposed to be placed next to her parents.

Instead, the remains were placed in a crypt, three niches to the right, reports The Chronicle-Telegram. The Resthaven Memory Garden Cemetery acknowledged the error, dug up William Brown's remains, and moved them to the correct crypt.

As a result of the improper crypt placement, the widow says that she suffered severe emotional distress and mental suffering and brought a lawsuit against the cemetery for an undisclosed amount in excess of $25,000, reports the Chronicle-Telegram.

While it is understandable that the woman was extremely shook up by the incident, the cemetery was able to move the body within a few days and under the direction of its funeral director.

So Barbara Brown's claim may garner a lot of sympathy, but may not result in a large monetary award.

Generally, to win a lawsuit for emotional distress, you have to prove that the defendant acted in an extreme and outrageous fashion that actually caused you some sort of physical harm.

Extreme and outrageous conduct is typically anything that would be considered unacceptable civilized behavior. The Resthaven cemetery placed the cremated remains of William Brown in the wrong crypt, but is this really uncivilized conduct?

Had the cemetery then dug up the body on the spot -- in front of his widow -- and then dumped it into the correct crypt, an argument could be made that the cemetery's behavior was extreme and uncivilized. But the cemetery made sure to move the body and did not allow Barbara Brown to witness the process, reports the Chronicle-Telegram.

It will be interesting to see if a judge and jury sympathizes with the widow and awards her damages for her claim.

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