Family sues funeral home for misplacing loved one’s body, preparing wrong casket

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The family of the late Nivina Cargill have filed a lawsuit against Smoot Funeral Services after Smoot allegedly lost Cargill’s body and prepared the wrong body and casket for a family viewing.

The suit accuses the funeral home and owner Monique Smoot of losing Cargill’s body, dressing the wrong corpse in Cargill’s clothes and putting that corpse in Cargill’s casket, and negligently embalming Cargill’s body.

In addition, Smoot allegedly tried to persuade the Cargill’s family that the body was Cargill’s when in fact, it wasn’t. According to the lawsuit, the funeral home found Cargill’s body five hours later and prepared it for viewing, but the makeup was placed haphazardly and the body was positioned incorrectly.

The funeral home also incorrectly identified the family members of the deceased in the obituary, which wasn’t issued until the day of the funeral, 10 days after Cargill’s death.

“Our already distraught family went through even more emotional turmoil due to the funeral home’s mistreatment of my sister’s body,” said Pam Merritt. “Smoot’s countless errors have caused our family indescribable emotional distress and suffering.”

Attorney Benjamin W. Wright is representing Cargill’s family in the lawsuit, the allegations of which include abuse of a dead body, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, gross negligence, infliction of emotional distress and fraud.

Edwards Funeral Service is also named in the suit, as it shares the same business address on Parsons Avenue as Smoot Funeral Services.

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