Florida Tortious Interference with a Body: Child’s Death

There is nothing worse than the loss of a child. Many Florida parents and other parents across the United States have gone through the grief process when a child dies. When an infant or a child dies, it is important for parents and families to go through a grieving process which includes a proper funeral, memorial, and burial if desired. Florida law allows families to recover damages when there is a tortious intereference with a dead body including the bodies of children. This is a special area of law that has many specific requirements in order to qualify as a viable and winnable case. In particular, the family must prove that there was reckless or wanton misconduct on the part of a funeral home, hospital, or another entity. In Gonzalez v. Metro Dade County, a family sued a hospital since the hospital mistakenly switched bodies. In turn, the family mistakenly buried and mourned for the wrong body. The family sued. Unfortunately, the case was thrown out since the family did not allege a case for reckless conduct. The family argued that negligence was enough to pursue a case of this nature. The Florida Supreme Court in following other cases on point disagreed with the family and affirmed the trial court’s decision to throw the case out. I have personally handled cases of this nature and understand the pitfalls and requirements of Florida law. There is a cause of action when properly pled and supported by the right facts to pursue a case with the tortious interference of a dead body when dealing with a child or an adult for that matter. When pursuing a case of this nature, it is important for the attorney to have a keen awareness of the law and facts on point.

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