When people lose a family member or loved one, they are often distraught and in an emotionally vulnerable state. Grieving family members are emotionally fragile and particularly susceptible to suffering emotional distress due to the negligence and/or misconduct of the persons or companies responsible for handling the remains of the decedent.
As a result of the highly sensitive nature of the funeral home and cemetery business, the Florida legislature created a comprehensive statutory framework detailing the duties and conduct required of those engaged in the funeral service and cemetery industries. Chapter 497 of the Florida Statutes mandates a high level of duty due to the sensitive nature of the business and the emotional fragility of the victims. Chapter 497 totals approximately 65 pages and provides a comprehensive list of requirements and prohibitions for those involved in the cemetery and funeral home industry. Some of the pertinent subsections are listed below:
- 497.386 (4), requires that all human remains transported or stored must be completely covered and at all times treated with dignity and respect.
- 497.152 (1) (b), prohibits funeral service providers from committing fraud, deceit, negligence, incompetence, or misconduct in the practice of any of the activities regulated in this chapter.
- 497.152 (4) (e), prohibits the concealment of information relative to violations of this chapter.
- 497.152 (9) (f), prohibits funeral home from directly or indirectly making any deceptive, misleading, or untrue representations, whether oral or written, or employing any trick, scheme, or artifice, in or related to the practice of a profession or occupation regulated under this chapter…
- 497.152 (8) (e), requires a funeral service to obtain written authorization from the family or next of kin of the deceased prior to the entombment, interment, disinterment, disentombment, … of the remains of any human being.
- 497.372 (1) (e), provides that only a licensed funeral director may be in charge of or supervising, directly or indirectly, any funeral service…
There are many other requirements and prohibitions outlined in these statutes. In short, any person or entity involved in the cemetery and/or funeral home business owes a high duty of care to the grieving family and the failure to adhere to the statutory requirements may create civil and/or criminal liability.
The Blaut Weiss Law Group is a funeral home and cemetery abuse law firm that represents families in Florida funeral, cremation and cemetery lawsuits. We are dedicated to providing our clients with personal service and aggressive representation. At Blaut Weiss, P.I. means that we are personally interested in every client and every case. If you are unsure of your legal rights, call our law offices at 954.634.1800 to evaluate your circumstances or visit our website at www.blautweiss.com.