Local Funeral Homes Hit With Lawsuits

One Asks $300 Million In Tri-State Crematory Case

Friday, February 22, 2002
John Taylor, owner of Taylor Funeral Home in Chattanooga, was among those at a press conference at Rock Spring on the Tri-State Crematory case. Taylor was among the local funeral homes sued on Friday. Mr. Taylor, center, is on the Chattanooga City Council. Click to enlarge all our photos.
John Taylor, owner of Taylor Funeral Home in Chattanooga, was among those at a press conference at Rock Spring on the Tri-State Crematory case. Taylor was among the local funeral homes sued on Friday. Mr. Taylor, center, is on the Chattanooga City Council. Click to enlarge all our photos.
- photo by John Wilson

Two lawsuits against Chattanooga funeral homes were filed Friday in Hamilton County Circuit Court.

A lawsuit asking $300 million in damages was lodged against Taylor Funeral Home, Franklin-Strickland Funeral Home and other unnamed funeral homes in the Tri-State Crematory case.

A second lawsuit that did not specify damages was filed by Chattanooga attorney Jerry Summers and Rossville attorney Chris Townley against Turner Funeral Home and the Ray and Brent Marsh family. That suit was also filed in Walker County, Ga.

Plaintiffs in the first case are Joe C. Oden Jr. and James Greer.

Mr. Oden said his wife was sent by Taylor Funeral Home to be cremated at the facility at Noble, Ga., where scores of bodies have been found.

Mr. Greer said his son had been sent by Franklin-Strickland Funeral Home to Tri-State to be cremated.

The lawsuit asks that it may be declared a class action so others may join in the suit.

It was filed by Nashville attorneys David Randolph Smith, Edmond Schmidt and J. Allen Murphy Jr.

Libby Workman is the plaintiff in the second lawsuit, which also asks to be declared a class action. Her husband, John P. Workman, died Feb. 6.

The suit says Mike Turner of Turner Funeral home "knew or should have known" that for several years the crematory equipment was inoperable and bodies were being "discarded."

It says Turner Funeral Home had an obligation to dispose of the body entrusted to it properly.

The suit says Turner Funeral Home violated state laws dealing with burial and cremations.

The complaint says Turner Funeral Home charged Ms. Workman for transportation of the body for cremation though it knew Brent Marsh would pick up the body and return ashes.

The suit said, "Instead of being cremated, the body was stacked up in a shed on the defendant Marsh's property along with other human corpses."

It says a few days later the alleged remains of Mr. Workman were returned to Mrs. Workman "without any identifying information." It says the family had a service "in honor of the deceased in which part of the remains they had been provided were committed to the earth."

The lawsuit says the body of Mr. Workman has been identified and returned to Turner Funeral Home. Mrs. Workman said she now will have to have the body cremated "as she originally thought had been done."

The suit says Turner Funeral Home and Marsh "had a duty to respectfully, properly and legally perform the cremation of the plaintiff's loved one."



Fort Oglethorpe Arrest Report For Oct. 24-30

Here is the Fort Oglethorpe arrest report for Oct. 24-30: Timothy Lee Gray, 35, of 10331 Sims Harris Road, Ooltewah was arrested October 24 on a charge of loitering and prowling. Samantha Lois Smith, 32, of 10331 Sims Harris Road, Ooltewah was arrested October 24 on a charge of loitering and prowling. Laressa Michelle King, 23, of 8815 Surry Circle, Chattanooga was ... (click for more)

Upcoming City Council Agendas

Here are the upcoming City Council agendas:   Tuesday, Nov. 4:  I.          Call to Order. II.         Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation (Councilman Anderson). III.       Minute Approval.               ... (click for more)

Thanks For Publishing The Stokes Photo Book

I pre-ordered the Stokes Photo Book and picked it up Wednesday . The covers and content are very high quality and contain photos you will not see anywhere else.  This book of photos is worth much more than $35.  I have seen many historic photos of my hometown Chattanooga, but this collection is amazing. My favorites are National Cemetery, Confederate Cemetery near ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saban: ‘Ratings Don’t Matter’

When the first College Football Playoff rankings were released earlier this week, Alabama football coach Nick Saban got it right on the button when he shrugged, “I don't even care, to be honest with you." "To me, none of it matters, What does it matter?” he laughed at the Tide’s No. 6 ranking. “I mean, it only matters where you end up at the end. So what matters to us is how ... (click for more)

Owls Beat McMinn, 30-12, To Complete Unbeaten Regular Season

Undefeated. Sounds nice, huh. After a sluggish first half that produced only three points on a Laszlo Toser field goa., third-ranked Ooltewah came to life in the third quarter, riddled McMinn County’s defense with three Kelvin Leon touchdown passes in the third quarter and went on to beat the Cherokees, 30-12, at James N. Monroe Stadium to secure the school’s third unbeaten ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Clobbers Grundy Co. For 7-AA Title

Notre Dame coach Charles Fant is always hoping that his Fighting Irish football team can get off to a fast start. He never thought it would be as quick as what he saw Thursday night at Jim Eberle Field. With a District 7-AA championship on the line on an evening when they honored all of the fall senior athletes, a football game turned into a track meet and eventually a victory ... (click for more)