A family from Texas has taken legal action against a Houston morgue, alleging severe emotional distress resulting from the mishandling of their father’s remains by two employees.
The incident reportedly occurred on June 14, 2021, during the transportation of Juan Mejia’s body from his daughter’s second-floor condominium by two individuals employed by Twinwood Mortuary Service. The family initiated legal proceedings in June, two years following Mejia’s passing, and they are seeking damages exceeding $1 million.
The family’s lawsuit claims that the Twinwood employees, who appeared to be relatively inexperienced and hesitant in their actions, were attempting to navigate a staircase with Mejia’s body secured to a metal stretcher.
According to the lawsuit, one of the family members offered assistance in carrying the stretcher, but this offer was declined by the employees. A family member then suggested they seek assistance from their coworkers, but this offer was also rebuffed.
As the employees proceeded to transport the body, Mejia’s son, William Mejia, closed the condominium door and heard a series of thumps. When he reopened the door, he discovered that the stretcher had tipped over, causing his father’s head and upper body to be exposed on the ground.
In a desperate attempt to shield his father from being viewed by neighbors, William Mejia rushed down to cover the body by hugging it. Subsequently, he called out to the employees for help.
Eventually, with the assistance of William Mejia, the employees managed to reposition the stretcher and reload the body onto it, then transporting it toward a rolling stretcher frame. During this ordeal, William suffered an injury to his arm and back as his arm got trapped beneath the stretcher.
An employee at Twinwood declined to comment on the matter when contacted.
William Mejia promptly reported the incident to the local funeral home, with which the family had been coordinating. The funeral home assured him they would investigate the incident. Later, the funeral home informed William Mejia that the Twinwood employees had asserted a different account, claiming that they had safely placed the body on the ground to adjust their grip, contradicting William Mejia’s description.
The family only became aware of the damage to the body four days later during the wake. They observed “denting and bruising” on Juan Mejia’s head, which they attribute to the alleged fall.
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The lawsuit maintains that this discovery inflicted tremendous emotional anguish on the family, impeding their grieving process.
As of now, neither the family nor their attorney has issued a statement in response to these developments.