Body Sent to Africa ? Texas Funeral Home Faces Suit

August 11, 2010
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Father claims condition of son?s body when it got to Uganda made him ?violently ill?

Uganda

A Richmond man is suing a Pasadena funeral home claiming he suffered nausea, nightmares, emotional breakdowns, severe pain and suffering and emotional trauma, grief and sorrow after his son?s body arrived for burial in his native Uganda in a state of advanced decomposition.

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Nicholas Jjemba, identified by his lawyers as an oil company employee, said in the lawsuit against Fairmont Funeral Home and Cremation Services that he had difficulty identifying his son?s remains when they arrived in Kampala, Uganda, about three weeks after he died in an accident.

Jjemba?s son, 26-year-old Noah Jjemba, died instantly on July 1 when he was pitched from the bed of a pickup while helping an acquaintance move.

Not aware of problem

Heather Martin, a co-owner of the Pasadena funeral home, said she was ?shocked? by the lawsuit?s allegation, adding that the elder Jjemba had not informed the mortuary of the problems.

?Noah Jjemba?s corpse was so badly decomposed that the plaintiff ? became violently ill as a result of not only the odor emanating from the coffin, but also from the visual impact of seeing a deceased child in such a decayed condition,? the lawsuit says.

The family canceled a planned wake because of the body?s condition, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from the funeral home and one of its employees for negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract.

?I know people are shipped from the Middle East war zone and don?t arrive in this state,? said Nicholas Jjemba?s lawyer, Judy Mingledorff. ?I don?t know any reason why the body of this young man arrived in the shape it was in.?

She said the corpse?s condition was documented on video.

Jeremy Jjemba, the dead man?s brother, said a local memorial service arranged by the funeral home was well-handled, but he agreed that the body had ?spoiled? en route to Uganda.

Nicholas Jjemba declined to comment.

Source: chron.com

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