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article imageOhio county pays families after wrong child is cremated

By Kim I. Hartman     Aug 12, 2011 in Lifestyle
Columbus - A mix-up by an Ohio coroner's office that resulted in the cremation of the wrong child was resolved by the Franklin County Commission who approved an agreement to pay $68,000 to the distraught parents of both the deceased children.
Marico Talley and Jamere Sydnor, parents of a 14-month-old who was cremated by mistake, and against his parents' religious beliefs, will receive a $50,000 settlement to compensate them for an error by an employee of the coroner's office, who released the wrong body to a Columbus funeral home that performed the cremation.
The unfortunate mistake occurred in May 2010 after the deaths of Jaylen Talley and a 22-day-old infant Chase Z. Fine, whose parents held a funeral for their dead son not knowing the ashes at the funeral were not those of their child.
When the mix-up was discovered it was too late for the parents of Jaylen Talley to retrieve the already cremated remains of their son, which had already been buried days earlier.
The Franklin County Coroner's office immediately fired the forensic technician responsible for the mistake and instituted changed in office policy and procedures to ensure that it wouldn't happen again, but this wasn't enough to satisfy the parents of the two boys, reports the Columbus Dispatch.
They wanted an apology and an admission of the mix-up by the parties responsible, according to the Dispatch.
“It had been an ordeal for them,” said Mark Kafantaris, who represented Chase’s parents.
T. Jeffrey Beausay, who represented Jaylen’s parents, said, “It was very important to them for these defendants to come out and say they made a mistake.”
Both parents filed separate lawsuits against the Franklin County Coroner's office, the Marlan J. Gary Funeral Home and the Cook & Son-Pallay Funeral Home, none of which recognized the error and or noticed the difference in the ages of the newborn and the toddler.
The Franklin County Commissioner's, who called the incident "quite unfortunate," approved the settlement this week that includes a payment of $18,000 to Chase's parents, Julius Fine and Shanena Whitlow, who buried the wrong baby.
Attorneys for both families confirmed that settlements had been reached with the funeral home's involved in the devastating error, but declined to release the amount paid to their clients.
News reports confirmed the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors suspended the funeral director's license and the funeral home license of the Marlan Gary’s funeral home for a period of six months, for not catching the error prior to cremating the babies body.
More about Ohio, franklin county, Cremation, wrong child cremated, Coroner
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