A case management conference has been set for 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 21 in a suit brought by the family of a woman who claims that Officer Funeral Home did not properly prepare her for burial.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert P. LeChien also vacated a trial date of Dec. 12 by agreement of the parties.

Plaintiffs Nancy Jones and Annie Short are seeking damages in excess of $50,000, punitive damages, and other relief in the case filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

The women allege that after their mother, Vera Little, died they contacted Officer Funeral Home and paid to have Little prepared for burial.

They claim that after paying $4,200 they were not allowed to view their mother's body at her funeral services.

Short alleges that when she did finally view her mother's body, she found it was in a black bag placed inside of the casket without cosmetics and that Little was still wearing the same clothing as the day she was discovered dead.

The sisters claim that as a result of the funeral home's actions, they were denied a chance to properly grieve for their mother. They also claim they could not present their mother in a dignified state and that they were embarrassed by her funeral.

The funeral home filed its answer and affirmative defenses denying the plaintiffs' claims.

The funeral home cites the plaintiffs' failure to state a claim, failure to accept attempts to allay their concerns, and a failure by the plaintiffs to mitigate their damages.

Officer Funeral Home also claims that plaintiffs' move for punitive damages is barred by the U.S. Constitution.

The parties spent most of last year engaged in taking depositions in the case.

Daniel Finney represents the plaintiffs.

Eric W. Evans filed an entry of appearance as counsel for Officer on Nov. 9.

Susan Herold also has represented Officer.

The case is St. Clair case number 10-L-240.

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