A Long Island funeral home gave the ashes of a dad to the wrong grieving family — who then traveled thousands of miles away to scatter his remains, a new lawsuit claims.
The Lake Ronkonkoma Moloney Funeral Home accidentally mixed up the remains of Sarup Sharma with a different deceased man who had the same last name, according to a suit filed by Sharma’s adult children, Susan and Sunil.
The siblings had planned to scatter their dad’s ashes along with their mom’s — who died seven months later, in September 2017 — in a traditional Hindu ceremony on the Ganges River in India, according to the lawsuit, filed in Nassau County Supreme Court on Aug. 13.
But the funeral home told Sarup’s kids in November that it had screwed up by sending their father’s remains to the family of Shashi Sharma, who was no relation, according to the lawsuit. Sarup’s kids hadn’t gotten any ashes yet.
By then, Shashi’s family, thinking they had his remains, had already disposed of what were Sarup’s ashes in a ceremony, although coincidentally, they scattered them in the Ganges, which is a common Hindu practice.
Still, the heartbreaking mix-up was “reckless and negligent” and caused Sarup’s kids “mental anguish,” according to the lawsuit.
It deprived the siblings of “solace and comfort” and “the right to dispose of their father’s remains as they choose,” the suit states.
The funeral home apologized and is reviewing protocol to make sure the mix-up doesn’t happen again, according to spokeswoman Katherine Heaviside.
“Once we learned of the situation, we immediately reached out to both families to express our remorse and assure them of our full cooperation during this difficult time,” she said.
“We have reviewed all of our procedures and have taken steps to further strengthen our protocols to ensure that we maintain the full trust and confidence of the families we serve, as we have for the last 85 years.”
Shashi Sharma’s family made a second trip to India to scatter the true remains of their relative, according to a source. The funeral home offered to pay for it, Heaviside said.
Both families didn’t return request for comment.
Additional reporting by Natalie O’Neill
Source: Read Full Article