A DISTRAUGHT family are suing a funeral parlour after staff allegedly placed the wrong body in an open casket at a funeral, and then attempted to convince grieving relatives that "people look different in death".
Family and friends attended Jerry Moon's funeral in October 2013, but were met with the face of Robert Petitclerc, who was 25 years older than Mr Moon. Mr Pettitclerc had died at the same hospice on 13 October, the Seattle Pi reported.
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When Mr Moon's family told employees that they had made a mistake, the mortuary allegedly told them they were wrong and said that "people look different in death".
This was despite the fact that Mr Moon was bald and Mr Petitclerc had a full head of hair, the family's attorney Shawn Briggs said according to The Seattle Times.
He added that staff even argued that post-mortem hair growth is a phenomenon.
Mr Moon's family said they were confronted with further distress when the Kelso funeral home cremated his body - despite his explicit religious requests that he wanted to be buried in Chehalis, a small city located 90 miles south of Seattle.
"He was afraid of cremation," Briggs said according to Seattle Pi, adding: "He had religious beliefs that were inconsistent with cremation."
While the original mistake was made at the Dahl McVicker Funeral Home which picked up the men's bodies, the family is now claiming damages against the Brown Mortuary Service for failing to correct the inadvertent body swapping and trying to cover up its mistake.
"This was a horrific experience for the Moon family when they were already devastated by the loss of their beloved husband and father," said Briggs, according to The Seattle Times.
Moon's son, Brian Moon, said in a statement: "Instead of being treated with dignity, our family was demeaned and denied the opportunity to honor my father and lay him to rest according to his wishes".
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