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FSE 116 Funeral Law and Ethics

Published : 18-Oct,2021  |  Views : 10


The purpose of the case study assignment is to research a court case in which a funeral director has been found liable for a wrongdoing. There are literally thousands of documented cases that can be found online.

The Assignment

You must write a summary for your researched case study. The assignment should be typed and words should be spelled correctly. Upon compIetion, I must receive it via the SafeAssign link (simply click on the title "Writing Assignment: Case Study1" to submit the assignment), by the end of this module.


The topic of research is the court case of Robert H. Crawford, sr., et al. v J. Avery Bryan funeral Home, inc., et al, case number E2006-00987-COA-R3-CV.

The Case

The case was filed on the 21st of November 2007 which was prosecuted in the Circuit Court. The case was filed by the family, parents and siblings of late Mr. Robert H. Crawford Jr. against the Tri-state cemetery, condemning the cemetery for not cremating the dead body of their late descendent on the date mentioned into contract. Mr. Robert H. Crawford Jr. had died on the 26th of February 2001. His wife, Bawery Crawford had made arrangements with the J. Avery Bryan Funeral Home for the cremation of her late husband’s body in the Tri-State. The wife had signed agreements agreeing upon the said terms and conditions of the funeral house giving the house the full authorization to the cremation and disposal of the body of her late husband with the J. Avery Bryan Funeral Home. Not only that, the documents clearly revealed that the wife had authorized the said funeral home to release her husband’s body for cremation in the Tri-State cremation area ("Robert Crawford, Sr. V. J. Avery Bryan Funeral Home, Inc.– Courtlistener.Com, 2017). The only two signatories of the documents were the J. Avery Bryan Funeral Home and the wife of the deceased.

It can be safely assumed that the dead body in question was transferred to the cremation facility by the funeral home but no further news of its whereabouts were heard. The body, in most practical circumstances might not have been cremated. It, by all chance is still among the various remains of the other dead bodies in the cremation yard of the tri-state.

The Arguments and Judgment

It was stated by the plaintiffs that J. Avery Bryan Funeral Home was given the proper authority and freedom to exercise over the cremation said dead body. The company was contractually bound to ensure that the body is disposed off, properly in the Tri-state cremation site and all the duties subjected to the said cremation are handled with all legality and care. But, since the body was not cremated, the funeral house was blamed of misrepresentation, negligence, breach of contractual duties, causing mental and emotional trauma, intentional mishandling of a corpse and basic fraud ("Findlaw's Court Of Appeals Of Tennessee Case And Opinions. " Findlaw, 2017).

The defendant, J. Avery Bryan Funeral Home proposed that the case be dismissed in the trial court as it was only the spouse who stood for the claims made by the plaintiffs; hence, it was most evident that the case lacked proper standing. The spouse was the only person who was capable of filing a case against the defendant was she was the only one to engage in the contract, hence, she stood alone ("Robert Crawford, Sr. Et Al. V. J. Avery Bryan Funeral Home, Inc. Et Al., 2017). Section 868 of the law states it clearly that it is only limited to tortuous conduct over dead bodies and not the living; hence it cannot be applied over the plaintiffs or the spouse. The trial court, knowing the frustrations of the plaintiffs was bound to dismiss the case and the cost of the appeal was taxed of Teri Crawford and the plaintiffs.


"Robert Crawford, Sr. V. J. Avery Bryan Funeral Home, Inc. – Courtlistener.Com." Courtlistener, 2017,

 "Findlaw's Court Of Appeals Of Tennessee Case And Opinions.." Findlaw, 2017,

 "Robert Crawford, Sr. Et Al. V. J. Avery Bryan Funeral Home, Inc.Et Al. - Concurring/Dissenting | Tennessee Administrative Office Of The Courts." Tncourts.Gov, 2017,

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