June 18, 2006
[A] handle on Gomez' poplar hardwood casket snapped off as he was being put on the lowering device above his grave in Spring Grove Cemetery in Northampton five years ago.
The parties dispute whether Mr. Gomez' body came out of the casket and whether witnesses saw it.
After the funeral, [the funeral home director] apologized to the family and offered to buy a headstone.
* * *
[The funeral home] had bought the casket at a discount from Cambium [the casket company]. . . . Drozdal said he chose the casket because he was trying to provide a low-cost funeral. . . .
The jury learned that an Cambium employee claims he told Drozdal the casket was only suitable for cremations, where it wouldn't be handled much.
Drozdal denied ever being told this and testified that he has used such caskets at Jewish funerals many times with no problems.
The jury deliberated for 90 minutes before finding no liability.
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