Thursday, June 28, 2018
The widow of 64-year-old Robert Yeager, Enid, was in great mourning when she was faced with a difficult dilemma - her husband had died of heart and liver disease in October, 2012, causing his body to swell beyond what was appropriate for a normal casket. An oversized casket was a costlier option, but Yeager claimed that the funeral home pushed her to have her husband's body cremated against his written last wishes.
Yeager sued Miser Mortuaries in Conrad, Montana for $1 million in damages in 2015 for severe emotional distress. After a 4-day long trial the jury found that the funeral home negligent and was liable for coercing the widow into cremating her husband. The jury drastically lowered the award for Yeager, however, to $50,000.
Communication between the widow and the funeral home appear to be more to blame than out-right malicious intent.
See Caleb Wilde, An 'Exploding Dead Body,' a 'Coerced Cremation' and a Lawsuit, CalebWilde.com, June 23, 2018; see also Seaborn Larson, Jury: Mortuary Business Negligent for Cremating Man Against his Wishes, Awards Widow $50,000, Great Falls Tribune, June 15, 2018.