Funeral home sued after misplacing wrong body in casket at a viewing

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By The Grio

Relatives of Nivina Cargill have filed a suit on Monday against a Columbus funeral home after they alleged that the funeral home misplaced her body and displayed the wrong body in the casket at Cargill’s viewing.

According to the lawsuit, the members of the family have “lost sleep and suffered nightmares as a result of the defendants’ conduct.”

Although the suit asks for $25,000 in compensatory damages and more than $25,000 in punitive damages, family members insist that it is not about the money but rather about making sure that no other family members have to suffer the same thing.

On Thursday, Cargill’s sister, Pamela Merritt, said, “Our whole concern is, we don’t want this to happen to another family.”

Merritt said that the family instantly knew something was wrong when they went to her sister’s viewing on July 1.

“There was someone else’s loved one wearing my sister’s clothing,” she said.

Once the family had convinced the funeral home that there had been a mistake, Merritt says that they had to wait five hours for the correct body to be found.

“We have no idea where my sister’s body was,” she said. “Was it in the building, was it in some other building where they store bodies?”

When the body was finally found for a family viewing late that night, it was “negligently embalmed.”

“The application of the makeup … was sloppy and haphazard,” according to the complaint. “Defendants positioned the body incorrectly.”

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