Florida Couple Awarded $28 Million From Funeral Home After Newborn Son’s Body Was Found In Dumpster

A Miami funeral home has been ordered to pay parents Raul Monzano and Catheryne Lucero $28 million for improperly disposing of their deceased newborn son’s body. Their son, David Manzano, was born on September 1, 2014, and died just four days later. The grieving parents then contacted Carey Royal Ram’n Funeral Home and signed paperwork to have the baby cremated. However, just four days after turning the body over to the funeral home, their son’s remains were found in a dumpster by a homeless man.

The Daily Mail reports that parents Raul Monzano and Catheryne Lucero were horrified when police arrived at their home to notify them that their son’s body had been found in a dumpster behind a gas station. The parents, still grieving, say that the child was supposed to have already been cremated by the funeral home and that they were awaiting the ashes. However, they quickly realized when the police informed them of the state of their son’s body that he had not been cremated and instead was dumped in a garbage bin.

To make the story even more horrifying, the couple had been watching media reports surrounding the body noting that it was a tragedy for a child to be disposed of like that. Little did they know as they watched the case unfold, it was their son’s body that had been tossed aside with the trash. The family’s attorney, Neal Hirschfeld, says the couple was “so distraught” when they found out and that the funeral home was neglectful in the handling of the child’s body.

“The really bad part is the parents had been watching the reports in the media and were thinking what a tragedy this is. They were so distraught.”

When the funeral home was questioned about how the child’s body ended up in the garbage bin, the funeral director’s son claimed that the boy’s body was taken to the crematorium on September 5, but that the box the body was located in was stolen from the funeral van. However, other reports indicate that the funeral director’s son had been charged with taking the baby boy’s body from Mount Sinai to his family’s crematorium. Instead, he told police, he went home and someone broke into his van and stole the box containing the boy. Shortly after the body was stolen from either the crematorium or Hood’s home, it was found in the garbage bin behind the U-gas station and the damage was done.

Following the devastation of hearing the news that their son had been tossed into a trash can like garbage, the family filed a complaint with the state’s Division of Funeral, Crematory and Consumer Services. They also filed a lawsuit against the Carey Royal Ram’n Funeral Home for negligence in handling their deceased son’s body.

According to the Miami Herald, the couple won their civil court case against the funeral home and was awarded $28 million in compensation. The funeral home was also charged with “negligence, incompetency or misconduct in the transportation of the remains of a stillborn baby resulting in the remains being found in a dumpster after allegedly being stolen from the transportation vehicle.”

Despite losing the civil lawsuit and the charges for negligence in transporting the body, the Carey Royal Ram’n Funeral Home is still listed on state websites as an “active corporation” and may still be providing funeral and crematory services.

Do you think the funeral home should be closed down after the newborn’s body was found in the garbage bin? Do you think the awarding of $28 million to the family in civil court is fair compensation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

[Image via Shutterstock]