Ohio man suing TSA for mishandling his mom’s ashes

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CLEVELAND, OH - A son honoring his mother's last wish ends up with him involved in a federal lawsuit.

Shannon Thomas took a flight from Cleveland to Puerto Rico with hopes of spreading his mother's ashes in the Caribbean Sea.  After landing in Puerto Rico, Thomas found traces of his mom's ashes on the outside of his suitcase.  Thomas is suing the U.S. government and 10 TSA employees who made contact with his luggage.

As if losing a parent isn't hard enough, seeing their remains mishandled can be just as devastating.

Inside his suitcase, a security tag left by the Transportation Security Administration. Thomas claims he packed the urn and secured it with extra cushion, with the lid tightly sealed. He believes when the TSA screened his luggage, someone opened the urn and carelessly put it back.

The TSA says they can't comment about the incident because of the pending lawsuit.

However, on a TSA website, rules for agents handling urns, say "under no circumstances will an officer open the container," and "if the officer cannot determine that the container does not contain a prohibited item, the remains will not be permitted."

By the time all the dust settles and the air clears, Thomas could have an extra $750,000 in his bank account.
That would be a hefty price to pay for a pile of ashes, but bad customer service should never fly.