Rutledge Files Suit Against Arkansas Funeral Care
January 7, 2016
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.