Family of Kendrick Johnson sues funeral home for fraud, negligence
The family of a Georgia teen who mysteriously died in his high school gymnasium last year has filed a lawsuit against the funeral home that handled his remains.
The lawsuit charges Harrington Funeral Home in Valdosta, Georgia with negligence and fraud.
Johnson’s parents were shocked to learn in June, when they ordered a second autopsy, that the young man’s organs were missing and had been replaced with newspaper. An investigation by a state board found that the handling of the body by the funeral home did not violate the law. […]In the lawsuit, filed January 31 and amended Wednesday, the family alleges that not only did the funeral home mishandle the organs, it disposed of them to thwart an investigation into Johnson’s cause of death. “This lawsuit challenges the morally despicable, fraudulent, unlawful and unfair business practices” of Harrington Funeral Home, the court document states.
Antonio Harrington “intentionally, willfully and secretly” desecrated Johnson’s remains, the lawsuit claims.
17-year-old Kendrick Johnson was found rolled up in a gym mat in January 2013. The Lownde County Sheriff’s Officer has repeatedly stood by its original determination that Johnson’s death was accidental, but his family suspects foul play after an autopsy at their expense showed other evidence.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigations has said it returned organs to Johnson’s body before sending it to the funeral home. But the funeral home claims the organs were missing when the body arrived. A coroner for Lowndes County said many of Johnson’s organs were deemed too badly decomposed to be preserved.
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