JACKSON, Tenn., March 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading plaintiffs' firm Morgan & Morgan announces that a Tennessee appeals court has allowed attorney Kathryn E. Barnett's class action against 35 funeral homes in the state to continue, affirming class certification in a case seeking to hold the funeral homes accountable for alleged negligence in handling families' deceased loved ones.
In its ruling, the Court of Appeals of Tennessee at Jackson affirmed a lower court's ruling that granted attorneys Barnett and co-counsel Howard Manis of The Cochran Firm class certification in their case against the funeral homes. They filed the lawsuit on behalf of families who had contracted the 35 funeral homes for the funerals of their loved ones.
"This is an important ruling that means that all of the families impacted by this tragedy can stand together in seeking justice," Barnett said. "The defendants refuse to accept any responsibility whatsoever for what they did and so we look forward to trial."
The lawsuit alleges that for years, instead of insuring the proper, lawful burial of the remains entrusted to them by more than a thousand families, the funeral homes abandoned the remains at an unlicensed cemetery, Galilee, where the remains were lost, abused and desecrated — including by burying multiple bodies in a single grave and crushing caskets to make room for more burials in a grave.
The trial court had previously granted class certification, which the funeral homes appealed. However, the appeals court affirmed the lower court's ruling, saying "... we find no error by the trial court in granting class certification."
The plaintiffs seek money damages and equitable relief in the form of location and identification of their loved ones remains.
The case is Wofford, et al. v. M.J. Edwards & Sons Funeral Home, Inc., et al., case number W2015-02377-COA-R3-CV, in the Court of Appeals of Tennessee at Jackson.
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SOURCE Morgan & Morgan