Palm Beach News

Funeral Home Sued Twice for Mixing Up Ashes and Misplacing Dead Bodies

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When Tequilla returned to Taylor-Smith-West to inform them of the eerily confusing situation, they placated her with an urn full of ashes. The urn had a plaque that had Shaquille's name on it. But inside were ashes of a grown man, they claim.

The lawsuit, which was filed December 4, accuses Taylor-Smith-West of tortious interference with dead bodies, intentional or reckless infliction of emotional distress, and common-law fraud.

The owners of the funeral home could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, Mack isn't the only one currently suing the beleaguered funeral home for losing bodies.

Back on June 23, Ronda Mitchell entrusted Taylor Smith-West funeral home with her mother's remains and paid $3,500 for funeral arrangements, which was to include an urn and an ash-holding necklace.

But several weeks went by, and according to Mitchell's lawsuit, which was filed this past October, Taylor Smith-West gave Mitchell excuse after excuse as to why it was taking so long for them to give back the remains.

The funeral home's main excuse was that the urn Mitchell chose was not in stock and wouldn't be available for another few weeks. When Mitchell picked another urn, she claims, the funeral home said that wasn't available either. Fed up, Mitchell went to the funeral home on September 3 and requested to take her mother's ashes as is, "even if they were just in a box." The employees at Taylor Smith-West said they weren't allowed to do that, but they would show Mitchell the remains. And then they showed her some ashes -- but turns out those ashes weren't her mother's.

Just like Mack, Mitchell contacted Edgley Crematory, where Taylor Smith-West said it sent her mother's body to be cremated, but Edgley once again said it never received the body. New Times reached out to Edgley, but he did not want to comment.

Upon a closer look at the death certificate, Mitchell says it actually read "Eastedge Crematory," not "Edgley." It had a strikingly similar address. No Eastedge Crematory exists.

"Eastedge Crematory, Inc is a completely imaginary and non-existent entity," the lawsuit says, alleging that the death certificate was falsified by Taylor Smith-West.

Like Mack, Mitchell is suing Taylor-Smith-West for tortious interference with dead bodies and intentional or reckless infliction of emotional distress.

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Ray Downs
Contact: Ray Downs