Parents Awarded $8 Million After Funeral Home Loses Daughter’s Body

A Texas jury awarded $8 million to a San Antonio couple as compensation against a funeral home for the disappearance of their deceased daughter’s remains. The Bexar County Court garnered national attention after it heard two weeks and two days of testimony.

Julie Mott died August 8, 2015 at the age of 25 after battling cystic fibrosis. After her funeral on August 15, 2015, she was scheduled to be cremated. However, the next day employees discovered her body missing from a damaged casket at Mission Park North on Cherry Ridge in San Antonio, Texas.

The parents of Julie Mott, Sharlotte and Timothy Mott, brought suit against MPII Inc., which does business as Mission Park Funeral Chapels and Cemeteries. MPII Inc. owns 14 funeral homes and cemeteries in San Antonio that operate under the names of Mission or Mission Park, Alamo, Brookehill, Dellcrest, La Paz All Faiths, Oak Hills and Palm Heights. It also runs San Jose Burial Park and Simplicity Funeral Chapel.

The lawsuit sued Mission Park for negligence and gross negligence in the handling of their daughter’s body while in the funeral home’s care, custody, and control. The lawsuit sought past and future mental anguish damages for Tim and Sharlotte Mott.

The lawsuit argued that Mission Park’s security at the funeral home was inadequate and that employees lacked proper training. Further, the Motts accused the company of hiding the fact that it uses third-party contractors that had unlimited access to its facilities and that its security codes were outdated, having not been changed in years.

When the verdict was read against Mission Park, Sharlotte and Timothy Mott were not in court to hear the jury’s verdict. Instead, Timothy Mott was at home, recuperating from a mild heart attack following the long trial against Mission Park.

Unfortunately, no arrests have been made in the disappearance of the body and the body has yet to be found; the investigation is still underway by the San Antonio Police department.

If you or someone you know has been injured due to the negligence of company or another’s negligence, or if a loved one’s remains were mishandled or lost by a funeral home, contact an experienced attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 713-222-7211.