Family sues over wrong body in casket

March 24, 2013 at 6:36 PM

CHESAPEAKE, Va., March 24 (UPI) -- A Virginia funeral parlor faces a lawsuit for allegedly putting the body of the wrong man in the casket for a funeral.

The family of James "Jim" Wagner III is suing the Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home over the alleged mix up, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported Sunday.

The lawsuit alleges Wagner's widow, Candace, went to the funeral home April 12, 2012, the day after her husband died, and paid $6,592.25, to have her husband's body prepared for an open-casket funeral. Two days later, she dropped off clothing for him to wear the day of the funeral, the lawsuit said.

Then, when friends and family arrived for the funeral, they found the wrong man in the casket -- but the body was dressed in the clothes Candace Wagner dropped off.

It was discovered that the funeral home accidentally transported James Wagner to another one of its locations. The funeral service had to be postponed for 2 hours.

After the service, Nathan Wagner attended his father's cremation "simply to ensure that the correct body was properly serviced and cremated," the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit alleges Candace Wagner experiences "nightmares, panic attacks and flashbacks of seeing another man in her husband's casket and clothing."

Nathan and Candace Wagner have each filed a lawsuit against Hollomon-Brown, both seeking $850,000 in damages.

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