ST. LOUIS, MO – A Missouri family is currently embroiled in a legal battle following a series of allegedly negligent actions by multiple parties involved in the handling of their deceased loved one’s remains. According to a lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court for St. Louis County, the family of the late U.S. Army central Fred Love accuses Baue Funeral Home, Simpson Funeral Home, and Mid-Atlantic Transport Services, a nonprofit organ transplant company of fraud, negligence, and interference with the final wishes of their loved one.
The lawsuit, initiated by Love’s widow, Glenda, and joined by their children and stepchildren, paints a horrifying picture of the events following Love’s death in September. Love’s final wish was to donate his organs after burial with military honors, with his cremated remains to be returned to his family. However, the family alleges that this wish was not honored, and the handling of Love’s remains was far from respectful or professional.
The family’s ordeal began with Love’s open-casket service, where they were shocked and distressed by his discolored and bruised appearance. The lawsuit alleges that poor embalming practices led to this disturbing sight, causing emotional trauma to the attendees. The family also claims that rods used during tissue donation were negligently left in Love’s body, resulting in his arms being unnaturally positioned in his casket. Adding to their distress, they allege that the American flag on his casket, a symbol of Love’s military service, was left wrinkled and unpressed.
Following the service, the family received a box from the funeral home, which they were told contained all of Love’s remains. However, during a six-hour drive home, Love’s stepdaughter reportedly developed a severe headache due to a strong chemical smell emanating from the box. The box, labeled with ‘biohazard’ stickers, was left in Glenda Love’s garage for four days until the smell became too overpowering.
In a shocking revelation, the family alleges that a Baue Funeral Home employee informed them that the box contained Love’s brain, which had been mistakenly given to them. The family further claims that they were misled about the risks of inhaling embalming liquid and were told there was no guarantee that the brain could be fully incinerated if they chose to cremate it.
The lawsuit names the Jasper County Coroner, three Baue Funeral Home employees, a former employee from the Simpson Funeral Home, and a former employee at Mid-Atlantic Transplant Services as defendants. The Love family is seeking damages of at least $25,000. They believe that their loved one’s final wishes were not respected and that the handling of his remains was negligent and disrespectful.
The Love family hopes their lawsuit will bring them justice and prevent other families from experiencing similar distress. They seek to shed light on the importance of proper procedures and communication in the handling of deceased individuals’ remains, particularly in cases involving organ donation and cremation.