Oct 20, 2009 7:33 AM by Sarah Rosario
Changes are coming to a Lafayette hospital after two bodies were mixed up at the morgue.
Lafayette General Medical Center says they'll now have two representatives on hand to double check every corpse leaving their facility. Those representatives will make sure the correct body is taken when the funeral home representative arrives. After the verification, the funeral home will then have to sign the patient log sheet. Those changes are coming too late for one family who says their loved one was wrongfully cremated.
The family is now promising a lawsuit against all involved in the accident. "He just put the body in, he never looked at the tag or at the body to see if it was the one he was suppose to pick up," said Chakakhan Joseph. She showed up at Raphael's funeral home in Jennings to prepare her mother, 58-year old Ruby Joseph for her funeral. The problem was it wasn't her mom in the casket. It was 82-year old Rose Alex. Joseph's mom had been accidentally sent to Kinchen's funeral home in Lafayette where she was cremated before the mistake was uncovered.
More than three sets of eyes were on the two ladies bodies, Lafayette General and the two funeral homes. Family members say the mix up happened because someone failed to look at the paper work. Chaka said, "When I let them know that this wasn't my mother, he got on the phone with Lafayette General and told them told they have family members here and they are about out of their mind right about now because you gave me the wrong body."
Lafayette general released a statement saying both bodies were properly identified with two separate id's. The problem is the wrong patients were retrieved by the funeral home. Lafayette general did apologize personally to the family. "They admitted to no paperwork being done. No paperwork at all being done," said Chaka.
A representative from Raphael's funeral home supports that saying they picked up Alex's body and were told they weren't getting paperwork because the copy machine was broken at LGMC. They simply took the body they were given.
They thought it was Joseph but the ID did read the other woman's name.
Kinchen funeral home, who family members say cremated their mother, would not comment.
Meanwhile Lafayette general officials say both funeral homes signed paperwork saying they retrieved the correct body. They say their role is to store bodies until the funeral homes get them. They say both patients were properly identified with a patient id bracelet, a toe tag and a label on body bag.