The family of a truck driver has filed a lawsuit alleging that that their loved one was accidentally cremated following a mix-up involving multiple agencies dealing with his body.
The lawsuit was filed in March 2022 in Tarrant County District Court located in Texas, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
According to the suit, 47 year old truck driver Jose Gonzalez was over the road when he suddenly fell ill and was hospitalized in Tarrant County in March 2020. Gonzalez ultimately passed away in the hospital on March 20, 2020.
The suit alleges that family members made arrangements with funeral homes in Fort Worth and California to embalm Gonzalez in Texas prior to his transfer to a funeral home in California.
However, family members say that on the day of the funeral in California, when they approached the open casket, the wrong person’s body was inside.
The lawsuit asserts that the body of a man named Jesse Gonzalez had been accidentally sent to the funeral home in place of Jose Gonzalez.
The family said that they “experienced extreme emotional distress upon realizing a complete stranger, Jesse Gonzalez, was in the coffin,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit claims that the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office switched the two bodies and sent Jose Gonzalez to the University of North Texas Health Science Center for organ harvesting and cremation as part of a program for bodies that go unclaimed. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office allegedly delivered the body of Jesse Gonzalez to Accucare Mortuary Services.
The suit accuses the University of North Texas Health Science Center and Accucare Mortuary Services of failing to identify the bodies prior to providing services.
Brown Funeral Home, which received Jesse Gonzalez’s body from Accucare and performed embalming services in Texas, was named in the suit, as was the Chula Vista Funeral Home in California.
The lawsuit seeks at least $1 million in damages and a jury trial.
Truckersfinalmile.org shared important information about the logistics of bringing a driver home if they pass away while over the road. You can click here for more.