CHESAPEAKE, Va. (CBSDC) – A distraught family is suing a local funeral home after organizers of a man’s memorial service put the wrong body inside of the casket by accident.

The Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home has come under fire over mixing up the body of James “Jim” Wagner III and another deceased party, United Press International is reporting.

On April 12 of last year, James Wagner’s widow, Candace Wagner, reportedly paid the funeral home just over $6,500 for an open-casket memorial, then returned two days later with clothing to put on the body for the service.

The lawsuit, which UPI reported was obtained by the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, stated that family arrived for the funeral only to find a different man in the casket, wearing the suit Candace Wagner had brought for her husband to don. The paper additionally learned that James Wagner’s body had been transported to another location.

The funeral was ultimately delayed for several hours while the mistake was rectified.

The filed court documents state that James Wagner’s widow suffered from “nightmares, panic attacks and flashbacks of seeing another man in her husband’s casket and clothing.”

James Wagner’s son, Nathan Wagner, reportedly went to his father’s cremation after the funeral “to ensure that the correct body was properly serviced and cremated,” according to the lawsuit.

Both James Wagner’s wife and son are now suing the funeral home for $850,000 in damages each, UPI learned.


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