Franke, Schultz & Mullen, PC | Funeral home cleared of charges of holding body for ransom
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Funeral home cleared of charges of holding body for ransom


The widow of a deceased Veteran brought suit against a funeral home claiming that it held her husband's body for ransom until it received payment after the widow notified the home that she was changing the funeral service to a competing funeral home. The widow also claimed she was the victim of "bait and switch" sales tactics as the funeral home attempted to charge her over $10,000 for a funeral that had been advertised to be "free" when the veteran signed up for a burial plot at defendant's cemetery. The widow presented a medical expert that testified the sequence of events led to the widow being diagnosed with PTSD. After a 5 day trial in Jackson County, Missouri, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the funeral home on plaintiff's claims of intentional infliction of emotion distress, breach of the right of seplucher and violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act. The jury also found the funeral home was not liable for punitive damages. John Schultz and Derek Johannsen represented the funeral home at trial. Case. No. 1016-CV30975