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Family files $50M lawsuit against funeral home for placing wrong body in casket

Funeral graveyard
Posted at 3:15 PM, Jul 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-26 18:15:56-04

A family has filed a $50 million lawsuit against a New Jersey funeral service after they say the wrong body was put inside a casket before the funeral for their mother.

The daughter of 93-year-old Kyung Ja Kim, said she noticed something was wrong when she said she "opened the casket" and noticed the mistake. Her daughter Kummi Kim said, "I told them this is not my mom. She was much younger looking."

According to New Jersey 12 News, the daughter said the director of the Blackley and Central funeral home took her in to see her mother in the casket, and that is when she noticed the woman in the casket had similar hair and her mother's clothing but says it was not her mother.

Kummi said, "People just saw me collapsing down. No one was really sure what was going [on] and they figured it out when I collapsed."

Funeral home employees reportedly did not alert the family to their mistake until the casket was transported to the funeral site in a town in New York, according to ABC7.

The Kim family is accusing the New Jersey funeral home of placing the wrong body in the casket, adding that the mistake was not fixed soon enough, causing trauma.

Kyung Ja Kim was a mother of five from Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, who is said to have died peacefully in November at the age of 93, according to New Jersey News 12.

Kummi said, “The last memory of her was very painful and disturbing and horrible.” 

Kummi said afterward that they made contact with the woman's family in her mother's casket.

"They couldn't do open casket for the other family because she had already started to decay," said Kummi. "We are really two victims. Not only my mom but the other victim."

The funeral home is being accused of negligence and denial of peaceful internment.

The family says they will donate any money gained from the lawsuit to the church that their mother attended, in her honor.

The Blackley and Central Funeral Home didn't immediately respond to requests for comment or release a public statement, New Jersey 12 News reported.