A Michigan funeral home dropped the casket carrying Ellnora James, causing her body to fall to the ground before the memorial service could begin. The Ivy K. Gillespie Funeral Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan agreed to an $80,000 casket lawsuit settlement with the James’ family for the funeral fiasco.
Relatives of Ellnora James witnessed her body tumbling from the casket onto the sidewalk in front of the Neland Avenue Christian Reformed Church in November 2010, prompting the lawsuit against the Ivy K. Gillepsie Funeral Home. James’ family members who did not witness Michigan funeral home staffers spill the casket learned something was amiss when asked if they could bring new clothing for the deceased, Fox News reports.
“This is the last time you get to show your respects for your loved ones. There was no respect and there was no dignity and there was no remorse for what happened,” Ellnora James’ son Dean Libbett told WoodTV.
“I don’t know legally what I can and cannot say. We truly, truly, truly apologize,” Ivy K. Gillepsie Funeral Home representative Crystal Whittington stated after the settlement in the funeral home casket lawsuit.
The settlement was reached between the Ivy K. Gillepsie Funeral Home and the James’ family in a Grand Rapids courtroom earlier this week. According to court excerpts republished by WoodTV, Ellnora James arrived inside the funeral home in a different casket and appeared to be “slumped” inside. Ellnora James pre-planned her funeral and had selected the casket she wanted used in her memorial service. Despite the $80,000 settlement in the casket lawsuit, some family members are reportedly upset that the case did not go to trial.
Family: Vacate casket drop settlement