Family sues funeral home for $50 million cremation mistake

HOUSTON — What would you do if a loved one passed away and funeral arrangements were made, only to find out the funeral home had your family member cremated against your wishes and then gave the ashes to someone else!

That's exactly what happened to the family of 79-year-old Roberta Salazar.

Salazar's family says Roberta helped plan her own funeral, down to the dress she would wear. Instead of embalming Salazar’s body, Grace Funeral Home in Victoria not only cremated it— but gave the remains to the wrong family who then buried the ashes, thinking they were burying their loved one.

Now the Salazar family is suing the funeral home for $50 million in damages and the family's attorney says the story only gets worse.

The lawsuit claims the funeral home let the Salazar family know that Roberta’s body was cremated but only days before her funeral in March of 2017. And that's after trying to cover up their grave error by convincing the family to have a closed casket since the body had deteriorated.

Grace Funeral Home tells Newsfix, "Grace Funeral Home deeply regrets the mistake in cremating Ms. Salazar's body [...] specific details were provided to assure the family that the cremated remains provided for burial were those of Ms. Salazar. There were no efforts to deceive anyone about what occurred."

Salazar has four children, 22 grand children with 51 great grandchildren and 14 great-great grandchildren. And her religion did not believe in cremation.

The family says they will bury Salazar’s cremated ashes next to her late husband.

The funeral home has just over two weeks to respond to the lawsuit.