Minnesota Woman Sues Funeral Home After Husband’s Body Is Accidentally Cremated

By Sherley Boursiquot
Sherley Boursiquot
Sherley Boursiquot
April 7, 2016 Updated: April 7, 2016

A Wisconsin woman is suing a Rochester funeral home and Mayo Clinic after her husband’s body was cremated without his family’s consent.

Jennifer Huber’s husband, Tony, died last May; he fell and hit his head while walking up the basement stairs in their Alma home.

Huber said Tony seemed fine when he went to sleep, but he never woke up.

While mourning the death of her husband, she had to deal with another blow.

“My phone rings, and they started saying ‘I’m terribly sorry. We mixed your husband, and he was cremated,’ and I just lost it,” Huber told KSTP. “I just went berserk.”

According to a lawsuit, Tony’s body was brought to the morgue at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.  

He never ever wanted to be cremated. He said ‘I would never want to be burned like that.’ He called it burned.
— Jennifer Huber, wife

The body was moved to another location, which was not recorded.

Employees from Ranfranz & Vine Funeral Home came to the morgue to pick up a different body, and they mistakenly took Tony’s instead, the court filing says.

“I literally thought they burned his soul,”Huber told KSTP. “He never ever wanted to be cremated. He said ‘I would never want to be burned like that.’ He called it burned.”

The lawsuit also states the negligence of the funeral home, how it failed to do its job—which was to make sure they had the right body to cremate, including checking identifying characteristics, according to the Daily News.

“Although Mayo Clinic and the funeral home routinely check the identifiers to be sure they have the correct patient, in this case, Mr. Huber’s identity was not verified before release,” reads the lawsuit, obtained by KMSP.

As a result, the family ended up burying Tony’s ashes in a coffin.

The family is reportedly seeking $75,000 in damages from both the Mayo Clinic and the funeral home.

“Not being able to grieve, not being able to say goodbye one last time, it’s an awful feeling,” Huber told KMSP.