CAREY B. BOALS, JR., AND KIM HICKERSON, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS NEXT OF KIN OF JUDY MARLENE BOALS, DECEASED v. STEPHEN MURPHY D/B/A MEDINA FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATION SERVICE (see attachment for full case name) - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Oct 30, 2013

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Todd D. Siroky, Jackson, Tennessee, for the Plaintiff/Appellants Carey B. Boals, Jr., and Kim Hickerson, individually and as next of kin of Judy Marlene Boals, deceased

Attorneys 2:

Lori D. Parish, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Defendant/Appellee Alpha Mortuary Service, LLC

Judge(s): KIRBY

This is a lawsuit alleging unauthorized cremation. The plaintiffs’ mother, a Tennessee resident, died in Arkansas while visiting a friend. The plaintiffs hired a Tennessee funeral home to transport the decedent’s body back to her hometown of Medina, Tennessee, for an informal family viewing. The plaintiffs instructed the Tennessee funeral home operator that, after the viewing, the decedent’s body was to be taken to Nashville, Tennessee, to be cremated there. The Tennessee funeral home retained the defendant Arkansas funeral home to handle the matter. The Arkansas funeral home delivered the body to an Arkansas crematory. The plaintiffs’ mother’s body was cremated by the crematory in Arkansas, so the plaintiffs were deprived of the opportunity to view their mother’s deceased body in Tennessee. The plaintiffs filed this lawsuit against several defendants, alleging various causes of action arising out of the unauthorized cremation of their mother’s body in Arkansas. The defendant Arkansas funeral home filed a motion for summary judgment as to all counts of the complaint. The trial court granted summary judgment to the Arkansas funeral home on all counts and certified the order as final under Tenn. R. Civ. Proc. 54.02. The plaintiffs now appeal. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand the case for further proceedings.

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