Family Sues Cemetery After Loved One’s Dead Body Falls Out Of Casket As It Was Being Lowered Into Grave

A bereaved family is suing a funeral home and cemetery after their loved one’s body fell out of the casket while being lowered into the grave during the funeral service. The family of Andrew Serrano were shocked and horrified when the Massachusetts man’s casket fell open and his body fell out in March 2019. According to a suit filed in Essex Superior Court last week, as obtained by the Eagle-Tribune, the family alleges negligence and reckless infliction of emotional distress.

  1. This was a terrible accident. The funeral, handled by the Perez Funeral Home at the city-owned Bellevue Cemetery in the city of Lawrence on April 5, 2019, seemed to be going as well as such a heartbreaking occasion can. However, all of a sudden, “one of the side straps on the city-owned casket lowering device broke, causing Mr. Serrano’s casket to fall into the grave and break apart,” the suit reveals.
  2. The entire family was traumatized by the event. It’s bad enough having to say goodbye to a loved one, but to have his body desecrated in such a way, accidental or not, was too much to bear. The corpse “fell out of the casket,” the suit states, saying that it happened in full view of “horrified family members who became visibly distraught.”
  3. The family is seeking $50,000 in damages. As of the time of the writing, the funeral home had not responded to NBC Washington’s request for comment. The city also declined to comment on the allegations or the lawsuit. The city of Lawrence, E&J Memorial Services, Inc and the Bellevue Cemetery Board of Trustees are all named in the suit and may have to pay up.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill