Alabama Jury Awards Nearly $1 Million in Body Mix-Up

August 23, 2011

A Jefferson County jury has found a Bessemer funeral home and two of its employees negligent in the switching of identities of two women prior to family viewings in 2009 and awarded the families of the two women nearly $1 million.

The Birmingham News reports the jury blamed Brown Service Funeral Home in Bessemer, owner Samuel Modder and ex-employee Willie Lewis for mistakenly swapping the identification tags on the bodies of Elizabeth Carroll and Esther Eubanks. The roommates at a McCalla nursing home died within hours of each other and were taken to the same funeral home.

Carroll’s family found Eubanks in Carroll’s casket and wearing Carroll’s clothing. Each family sought $890,000 in damages.

The jury awarded $490,000 on Thursday in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages.

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Latest Comments

  • August 24, 2011 at 9:58 am
    southern adjuster says:
    Was there more to this story than is printed here? How do you get to punitive damages of that amount when everyone admits they "mistakenly" switched the identifications? Had t... read more
  • August 24, 2011 at 8:11 am
    Jester says:
    That's the Amercian way.....someone makes a mistake......make 'em pay. Here you have two old women arriving at the funeral home within hours of each other. Probably looked p... read more
  • August 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm
    I bet their sadness disappeared says:
    Don't know how old these ladies were, but I'm pretty sure the survivor's sure disappeared in a puff of $$.

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