Family sues Chehalis funeral home

by: Kevin McCarty Updated:

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CHEHALIS, Wash. - Brian and Randy Moon say even after nearly two years,  the sight of another man's body in a casket that was meant for their father is still a terrible memory for them.

“At first we were shocked,” said Randy Moon. “I know the whole family was, I was in shock for weeks after that.”

Jerry Moon, 72, died in 2013. The one thing he asked was that he not be cremated. “My father was terrified of being cremated,” said Brian Moon.

But the Moons claim Brown Mortuary in Chehalis did just that, then put the body of another man in Jerry Moon's casket by mistake, even dressing him in Jerry Moon's clothes.  

Now the Moons are suing Brown Mortuary and its parent company, Service Corporation International (SCI), a multibillion dollar death care corporation based in Texas that owns funeral homes and cemeteries across north America. The Moons claim since the incident, they've never gotten an apology or even an explanation from Brown or SCI.   

Brian Moon said when he confronted funeral home employees and the manager around the time of his father’s death, they simply kept claiming the body was that of Jerry Moon.

“After trying to convince me that that was my father several times over he (the manager) finally just said he agreed, that’s not your father,” said Moon.  “I think they screwed up and knew it and they tried to cover the whole thing up,” said Randy Moon.

KIRO 7 contacted a representative at SCI's office in Texas who later emailed saying the company won't comment on a pending lawsuit.

The Moon's attorney, Shawn Briggs of Tacoma said there is no dollar amount being requested in the lawsuit at this time. It was filed in Lewis County Superior Court on Tuesday.

The Moons say the suit is not about money, it's about accountability. Jerry Moon's ashes are now buried at the Claquato cemetery outside Chehalis but the Moons say they find it hard to visit his grave site.

“There’s nothing peaceful about it,” said Brian Moon. “I can’t even have a fond memory of my father.”