Jimmie Lee Scott is supposed to be buried at Oakwood Cemetery Annex in Montgomery, Alabama, but according to a lawsuit filed by her three daughters, their mother's body is currently missing.
The women have now sued Ross-Clayton Funeral Home, which oversaw their mother's service and casket, as well as Forest Hills Memorial Park, a company contracted to finalize the burial.
They're seeking a total of $3 million, though they'd probably just like their mother's body back.
The daughters were initially alerted to a problem a few months after their mother's April 2010 burial, according to Reuters. One brought flowers to the grave but became concerned when the location was different from where the graveside service had taken place.
Initially assured by the funeral home, the trio was later contacted and told that the Jimmie Lee Scott would need to be moved, as she had been placed in the wrong plot.
When they dug up the grave, there was no casket or body underneath the headstone.
There's really no question that negligence was involved in this incident, as bodies can be lost in no other way. On these grounds, the daughters should easily be able to assert a claim of negligence on the grounds of res ipsa loquitur, which only requires proof of harm and the defendant's involvement in the harm suffered.
They might also be able to recover the requested $1 million in punitive damages, as Reuters reports that Forest Hills has a history of problems.
Even if they do fail to recover, hopefully this lawsuit will push the defendants to search for Jimmie Lee Scott until they find her.
- Daughters sue funeral home after it LOST their mother's body (Daily Mail)
- Res Ipsa Loquitur (FindLaw)
- NY Women Sue Cemetery: Mom Buried in Wrong Grave (FindLaw's Injured)