NewsChannel 11 Investigation Reveals New Lawsuit Against Lubbock Funeral Home - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/20/08

NewsChannel 11 Investigation Reveals New Lawsuit Against Lubbock Funeral Home

Last month, a NewsChannel 11 Investigation uncovered a lawsuit claiming White Funeral Home cheated and overcharged families. After seeing that story, a woman and her family believe they may have been one of those families. 

Beckey Poplin says if we had not done our story, she would have never known she may have been taken advantage of during the worst time of her life. It started with an e-mail. Beckey contacted us trying to find answers to her worst fear. She wrote:

"You mention an instance where they reused a body container, that the container had been used days earlier to transport a man from Louisiana. I am almost certain that the person here was my husband."

Beckey sat down with NewsChannel 11 to tell us why she is suing White Funeral Home. Her lawsuit makes this the second one filed since a family was awarded half a million dollars for the way their loved one was mishandled by the family-run business and General Manager Gary White. 

Even more accusations were revealed in a former employee suit against White.  Dennis White (no relation to Gary White), claims he had witnessed White overcharge and cheat families out of hundreds of dollars. "I was really afraid they had re-used his container. And it was embroiled in a lawsuit.  Just the thought of that made me physically ill," she said.

Beckey says she paid White Funeral Home more than $16,000 for a funeral service for her husband of 35 years. She claims she never received a quote before receiving the final bill. So she says she really didn't know how to read her contract or know exactly what it was she paid for.  "Did you ever call and question 'why didn't you give me a quote?" asked NewsChannel 11.  "Oh no, you don't do that at that time. You don't really care. You have other issues to deal with," she answered.

Beckey pulled her husband's funeral contract that has been tucked away since his death.  She wanted to compare prices.  She says she checked with other funeral homes and discovered she may have been overcharged $5,000.  "At the worst time of my life, I trusted them and they took my trust and wadded it up threw it on the floor and did a little dance," she said.

Fifty-year-old Gary Poplin was on the job in Louisiana, working with a clean-up crew after Hurricane Katrina hit, when he suddenly died on the job. His body was flown to Lubbock in a cremation container, and according to this former employee's lawsuit, was used again to transport another body. 

Now, two years later, Beckey's having to relive the death of her husband again. She says she suing not for the money, but for one reason. In a way, they have taken his good name and turned it into something else and I don't think that's right. I want that man's dignity back," she explained. "He deserves it."

Poplin is suing for Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Breach of Contract and for Deceptive Trade Practices.  She's suing for up to $4 million. 

White's attorney, Mike McCauley, was in Houston Monday, but told NewsChannel 11 over the phone, there are "zero" facts to support this case. Poplin's attorney, Travis Ware, says he will not comment on pending litigation. 

Again, this is a civil lawsuit, and none of these allegations have been proven true.  We'll continue to follow any new information we find on White Funeral Home.

9/29/08
NewsChannel 11 Investigates: Local Funeral Home Allegedly Cheating Families
A NewsChannel 11 Investigation has uncovered potentially more problems for a family-owned Lubbock funeral home. This time, a former employee is accusing White Funeral Home of cheating families out of hundreds of dollars.

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