Sisters say mother not properly buried; sue funeral home

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Feb. 28, 2012, 2:58am

GALVESTON - Three local women allege a Galveston funeral director did not bury their mother in accordance to their request, recent court documents say.

Vanessa Wortham, Clemmie White-Matthews and Brenda Matthews filed suit against Eddie R. Johnson, doing business as Fields-Johnson Family Mortuary, on Feb. 15 in Galveston County District Court.

The suit claims the mortuary promised the plaintiffs in late 2009 to inter Albennie Wortham in a concrete vault and in a water tight entombment, but "the defendant had misrepresented and had improperly performed its services."

Albennie Wortham, who had 10 children including the plaintiffs, died on Dec. 30, 2009.

According to the original petition, the sisters discovered last July that the defendant buried their mother "without any concrete vault whatsoever, had buried her at an angle and had buried her too shallow of a depth."

"The defendant's promises to have Mrs. Wortham and her casket buried in a manner that would enhance preservation have been broken, and instead, the improper burial has led to substantial deterioration and damages," the suit says.

"The defendant's actions have resulted in severe emotional distress for the plaintiffs, including the need for doctors and medication."

Consequently, the complainants seek unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

They are represented by The Freeman Law Firm PC.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 405th District Court Judge Wayne Mallia.

Case No. 12-cv-239

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