Family sues New Jersey funeral home after wrong body was placed in casket

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Monday, September 19, 2022
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A heartbroken family from Sussex County who lost a loved one is suing a funeral home after discovering the body inside the casket was the wrong one. Anthony Johnson has the story.

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- A heartbroken family from Sussex County who lost a loved one is suing a funeral home after discovering the body inside the casket was the wrong one.

Saying a final farewell to a mother and beloved grandmother is tough enough, but for the family of 85-year-old Josephine Struble, it was unbearable.

She died back on December 28 of last year, leaving behind a grieving family that arranged for final services at the F. John Ramsey Funeral Home. The family claims this is where their sadness turned to horror.

"It was not my client's mother, as it was supposed to be," the family's lawyer Michael Shaw said.

The family arrived at the location a half hour before the viewing that was scheduled on January 4. The grandson walked up to the coffin and quickly discovered it wasn't his grandmother.

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"Heartbreaking for the family and the fact that they had to go through more heartbreak is tragic," resident Jessica Sules said.

The lawsuit states that once the funeral home realized their error, the family was asked to leave, and when they returned Struble's body was in the casket but appeared disheveled and bruised.

To add more insult to injury, the family had given the funeral home jewelry to place with Struble's body, but the jewelry was placed on the wrong body.

"You add to the equation an unfortunate series of events as the family is preparing to say goodbye to a loved one, that only intensifies the heartbreak," Shaw said.

The family's lawsuit accuses the funeral home of mishandling human remains, infliction of emotional distress, tort of outrage and breech of contract.

Eyewitness News reporter Anthony Johnson reached out to the funeral home, but so far there has been no response.

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