A Pennsylvania wife is suing US Airways for allegedly losing her dead husband’s ashes after she was forced to check the item with her baggage.
In November 2011, Angeline O’Grady boarded a flight from Pennsylvania bound for an airport in England, to take the remains of her 71-year-old husband Brian — who died of cancer — back to his favorite spot in his home city of Hull.
However, when the widow arrived at her sister-in-law’s house in northern England, she discovered the urn was missing when she opened her bag.
Angeline claims US Airways lost her husband’s remains and that when she returned stateside they failed to provide her with an explanation as to what happened after she repeatedly asked for one.
Once at the airport, Transportation Security Administration agents told Mrs. O’Grady she couldn’t bring the cardboard box containing the urn through security “because its contents were not a solid substance.”
The widow insists she checked her bag with the urn and marked it “Fragile.”
Angeline’s lawyer, Bill Goldman Jr. told ABC News: “When my client was sent back to the US Airways ticketing counter to check her bag carrying Mr. O’Grady’s ashes, she was told that her seat was given away because she was now running late and the airline forced her to buy a $500 business class ticket,” said Goldman.
O’Grady is suing for compensation from the airline, which she says has done “nothing” to help her plight. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court.
According to the court records, O’Grady is seeking $200,000, plus damages and other costs, for breach of contract, bailment, negligence and intentional infliction of mental distress.
Goldman added relatives in England had gathered in Hull for Mr. O’Grady’s scattering ceremony.
The plan had been to place his ashes where his mother was cremated five months earlier.
However, “Mrs. O’Grady was unable to fulfill her husband’s wishes,” said her lawyer.
Goldman added that he hoped the lawsuit would get US Airways’ attention because what was lost is irreplaceable.
“US Airways, rather than Mr. and Mrs. O’Grady, has had the last word in determining Mr. O’Grady’s final resting place,” the lawsuit read. “He is not at peace.”
US Airways says it’s not at fault for the loss of the ashes.
In a written statement, Todd Lehmacher told ABC News: “While we certainly send our condolences to Mrs. O’Grady, US Airways’ investigation into this matter did not uncover any information indicating that US Airways is responsible for this unfortunate incident. We, of course, will defend ourselves against the suit.”
However, that still doesn’t answer this question: How did the ashes go missing after Ms. O’Grady’s checked her bag?