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Imagine that your loved one has made specific plans for their funeral and burial, but the funeral home fails to oblige. What can you do? One Texas family is suing a funeral home for $50-million after their mother was mistakenly cremated.

Roberta Salazar had written specific plans for her funeral as she lay dying. She wrote that she wanted to wear a beautiful dress that her late husband had given her for their 40th wedding anniversary. She created a playlist of her favorite songs, and she even went so far as to design her own casket. The casket would include panels with photos of her loved ones featured.

When she passed away, her family began the task of finding a funeral home that would carry out Mrs. Salazar’s final wishes. They entered into an agreement with Grace Funeral home that included a two-day celebration of her life during which time the casket would be open.

However, court documents show that two days before the first celebration, the funeral home mistakenly cremated Salazar’s body. According to the documents the funeral home even “attempted to intentionally deceive the Plaintiffs into not having an open casket after they had cremated the body by mistake.”

Shockingly, the funeral home was able to collect Salazar’s ashes, which had originally been given to another family. The Salazar family is now questioning whether the ashes they have received are even that of Mrs. Salazar.

The Salazars are Pentecostal Christian and do not believe in cremation.

The funeral home released a statement saying, “Grace Funeral Home deeply regrets the mistake in cremating Mrs. Salazar’s body. After realizing the mistake, the funeral home promptly investigated, notified the family and apologized.”

Does the apology from the funeral home carry any weight, or do the Salazar’s have a sound legal claim?

If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.

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