INGLEWOOD (CBSLA.com) — An Inglewood mortuary is being sued by a family amid claims the company buried one of its relatives without notification.
Jamilah Pitts says she paid Simpson Family Mortuary nearly $1,700 to bury her father Edward Pitts, a Vietnam veteran, with full military honors at the Riverside National Cemetery.
Family members told KCAL9’s Dave Lopez they were given a date for the service which they could not attend.
They claim a contact at the mortuary agreed to change the date, however, when they called back they were told Mr. Pitts had already been buried and that they had not paid for the military service.
The attorney representing the family, Nana Gyamfi, said they are seeking a $250,000 judgement.
“There is nothing that they can do. There is no specific performance that they can engage in. At this point what they can do is give some type of compensation,” she said of the defendants.
Jamilah Pitts said her father made it clear he wanted to be buried at Riverside and to be honored for his service.
“It’s just so, so hurtful,” she said. “[The funeral director] Dr. Black lied to us and promised us we could be there. Simpson’s robbed us of the chance to give papa our final goodbyes and they don’t even care. They don’t care. I can’t even visit the grave because I don’t know if my father is even really in there.”
Dr. Reginald Black, Sr. denied any wrongdoing in a statement issued Monday, insisting the company’s directors “stand firm in our convictions that we will prevail.”
“This is a civil matter that occurred in 2010 and is just going before a judge. We here at Simpsons Family Mortuary maintain that we are still providing quality, professional services to the entire state of California with the sole intent of offering dignity and respect to the families we serve and their loved ones,” the statement read in part.
Simpson made news in 2012 when the family of Darlene Davidson told the morticians the woman in the open casket was not actually her.
The mortuary argued the woman was in fact Davidson, but she just looked different because she had been embalmed.
The company eventually acknowledged it had made a mistake. Lopez reports that case was settled.