Funeral home sued for improper embalming

Ann Knef Mar. 19, 2007, 8:37am

A Belleville funeral home is being sued for improperly embalming the body of Jimmy Joe Henshaw, according to a complaint filed March 12 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Crystal Leisler and Amanda Henshaw claim that during the course of their father's wake at Valhalla-Holten Funeral Home and Cremation Services on April 11, 2005, "he emitted a red fluid from the nostrils of his nose staining his shirt and causing severe emotional problems to the plaintiffs," the complaint states.

Leisler and Henshaw are represented by Paul J. Storment, Jr. of Belleville.

They claim they suffered great emotional trauma in that their "hysterical screaming, hyperventilating" required the services of an ambulance to calm and sedate them.

The complaint alleges Service Corporation International Illinois Services, the funeral home's corporate owner, is negligent for failing to put nose plugs in the deceased.

"The defendant owed a duty to the plaintiffs, the general public and other members of the family to properly embalm and prepare the deceased, Jimmy Joe Henshaw, so he would be presentable to the family," the complaint states.

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