Rutledge Files Suit Against Arkansas Funeral Care
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a consumer-protection lawsuit today against Jacksonville-based Arkansas Funeral Care (AFC) because the business did not provide various funeral-care services in a timely, professional and respectful manner, and in some cases did not provide the expected service at all.
“Anytime Arkansans enter into a contract with a business, they expect all agreed-upon services to be performed timely and ethically,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The loss of a loved one can be one of the most difficult periods in anyone’s life, and a funeral provider has an obligation to make this time easier. Unfortunately, Arkansas Funeral Care violated the trust of Arkansas families and they must be held accountable for their disgusting actions.”
The complaint states that Arkansans entered into written contracts for chosen funeral goods and services with AFC based on advertised representations on their website, as well as other oral representations made during the sales process. The contracts detailed the costs of the funeral goods and services to be rendered at the time of need.
The Attorney General’s office has received formal complaints from effected families in which AFC did not perform various agreed-upon funeral-care services, including: failure to provide cremation services, nauseating odor of bodies that were left unrefrigerated without being embalmed, failure to provide adequate staff to transport bodies and untimely receipt of death certificates.
Arkansans reported delays in embalming that caused extreme levels of decomposition to the bodies, resulting in some not having the ability to hold an open-casket service and one person reported that the cremation of her husband, a veteran, was delayed over three weeks and was not available for his memorial service.
Rutledge is asking the court to impose civil penalties, restitution for the affected consumers, attorneys’ fees, costs and other relief against AFC.
The lawsuit was filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court.
About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on Nov. 4, 2014, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected to the office.
Rutledge, a native of Batesville, Arkansas, is a graduate of Southside High School, the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. She began her legal career as Clerk for Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Josephine Hart, now Associate Justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court. She was appointed Deputy Counsel for Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and later served as Legal Counsel on the Mike Huckabee for President Campaign. She served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and in subsequent service as Attorney for the State of Arkansas’s Division of Children and Family Services. She also served as Deputy Counsel at the National Republican Congressional Committee before joining the Republican National Committee as Counsel. Prior to her election as Attorney General, she founded and practiced law at The Rutledge Firm, PLLC. Rutledge lives in Little Rock.