A New Jersey family filed a $50 million lawsuit against a funeral home after the wrong body was put in the casket. When Kummi Kim saw the body, she immediately knew something wasn’t right.
Kim went to the funeral director and told her that the body didn’t look like her mother, 93-year-old Kyung Ja Kim. According to the lawsuit, the funeral director, Haemin Gina Chong, “responded with a very clear expression of denial and dismay over the question as if Plaintiff Kummi did not appreciate a different appearance after death.”
Kim and her family believed Chong and assumed that their mother’s altered appearance was the result of the embalming process. They continued with the funeral and then transported the casket to the cemetery.
That’s when Kim learned that she was correct; a different woman was in the casket. Chong approached Kim after the coffin had been lowered into the ground and showed her a picture of her mother. When Kim confirmed it was her mother in the photograph, Chong ordered the staff to lift the coffin out of the ground and return it to the funeral home.
When the family returned to the funeral home, Chong admitted to the mix-up.
The Kims reburied their mother the next day but were upset they could not hold the service at a church because it was a Sunday.
Kim also noted that the family of the other woman, Whaja Kim, were victims as well. She said that they had to hold a closed-casket funeral because the body had started to decompose.
The funeral home has not commented on the lawsuit.