Rawle partner Catherine Walto of the Philadelphia Office successfully defended a cemetery client in a binding arbitration on May 25, 2023 where the client was alleged to have negligently cremated the plaintiff’s deceased husband before the viewing occurred.
The cremation occurred earlier than the family wished because the codefendant funeral home delivered the body to the cemetery earlier than it should have arrived, along with all of the necessary paperwork indicating that the cremation could be performed. Ms. Walto successfully argued that the paperwork from the funeral home allowed the cremation to take place without any further notice or authorizations, which resulted in liability being imposed on the funeral home only.
The lawsuit was filed originally as a major jury case, which was scheduled to go to trial in Philadelphia in April. However, the parties agreed to a private binding arbitration before A. Roy DeCaro of ADR Options.