Jury Finds Lubbock Funeral Home Negligent - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/19/08

Jury Finds Lubbock Funeral Home Negligent

A Lubbock County Jury awarded the family of Esther Riley nearly $730,000 Tuesday, after they found White Funeral Home negligent in the way it handled Riley's body more than five years ago.

Debbie Bartholomew filed a civil suit against White Funeral Home, after her mother's burial back in April of 2003. Bartholomew claims Director Gary White embalmed her mother's body when the family said not to.

In a copy of the jury charge obtained by NewsChannel 11, members say the funeral home did not follow through on its duty to Bartholomew and her father James Riley.  Though members do say Bartholomew is partially to blame for damages against her father and herself.

The jury awarded Riley just more than $504,000.  Bartholomew received $225,000.  Attorney Travis Ware says he is pleased with the jury's decision. "We appreciate the jury's verdict, and the time that they invested in this case. It was an important case, and the jury saw it as such and they took the time," Ware said. 

The family was seeking $4 million for mental anguish and damages. Bartholomew also claims the body White Funeral Home buried in her mother's casket was not her mother. According to funeral home records the body inside her mother's casket is five inches taller than her mother.

Bartholomew filed a complaint with the Texas Funeral Commission. They reviewed the case in May of 2004, and her mother's body was apparently excavated in 2006, but Bartholomew says testing was inconclusive. White Funeral Home can still appeal the jury's decision.

NewsChannel 11 Investigates
NewsChannel 11 is digging deeper than just the news of the day, bringing you stories that no one else will do.  We have discovered some things in Lubbock you should know about.  See what Cecelia Jones has uncovered.

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • NRA links school violence to Ritalin but experts deny link

    NRA links school violence to Ritalin but experts deny link

    Sunday, May 20 2018 6:51 PM EDT2018-05-20 22:51:57 GMT
    Monday, May 21 2018 1:26 AM EDT2018-05-21 05:26:22 GMT
    (Elizabeth Conley/Houston Chronicle via AP). Flags fly at half staff in front of the justice center at Santa Fe, Texas on Sunday, May 20, 2018. Congregations in this deeply religious community near Houston gathered Sunday for their first worship servic...(Elizabeth Conley/Houston Chronicle via AP). Flags fly at half staff in front of the justice center at Santa Fe, Texas on Sunday, May 20, 2018. Congregations in this deeply religious community near Houston gathered Sunday for their first worship servic...
    The National Rifle Association's incoming president is linking school shootings to using medications such as Ritalin.
    The National Rifle Association's incoming president is linking school shootings to using medications such as Ritalin.
  • Cyclists tried to scare cougar but it attacked, killing 1

    Cyclists tried to scare cougar but it attacked, killing 1

    Sunday, May 20 2018 1:31 AM EDT2018-05-20 05:31:13 GMT
    Monday, May 21 2018 1:26 AM EDT2018-05-21 05:26:19 GMT
    (Alan Berner /The Seattle Times via AP). Washington State Fish and Wildlife Police confer with an individual from the King County Medical Examiner's and a King County Sheriff's deputy on a remote gravel road above Snoqualmie, WA., following a fatal cou...(Alan Berner /The Seattle Times via AP). Washington State Fish and Wildlife Police confer with an individual from the King County Medical Examiner's and a King County Sheriff's deputy on a remote gravel road above Snoqualmie, WA., following a fatal cou...

    Authorities say the cougar believed responsible for the attack has been euthanized.

    Authorities say the cougar believed responsible for the attack has been euthanized.

  • Maduro declared winner in disputed Venezuela election

    Maduro declared winner in disputed Venezuela election

    Sunday, May 20 2018 12:22 AM EDT2018-05-20 04:22:02 GMT
    Monday, May 21 2018 1:24 AM EDT2018-05-21 05:24:49 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos). Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro makes the victory sign after a meeting with former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero at the presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, May 18, 2018. Maduro is se...(AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos). Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro makes the victory sign after a meeting with former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero at the presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, May 18, 2018. Maduro is se...
    Venezuelans vote Sunday in a presidential election with Nicolas Maduro expected to win a second six-year term, despite a deepening crisis that's made food scarce and inflation soar as oil production in the once...
    Venezuelans vote Sunday in a presidential election with Nicolas Maduro expected to win a second six-year term, despite a deepening crisis that's made food scarce and inflation soar as oil production in the once wealthy nation plummets.
Powered by Frankly