Funeral Home Embalming Controversy Now A Lawsuit

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) A north Alabama funeral home is accused of failing to embalm the body of a man, forcing mourners to leave an open casket funeral due to the smell of the body, 12 days after he died.

In the claim filed Monday in the Madison County Circuit Court, the mother of Norman Holman Jr., claims the body was never embalmed by the Nelms Memorial Funeral Home as requested following his death. Jo Timmie Holman is suing the funeral home and its chief executive officer, Charles Ray, Jr., for negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, misrepresentation and for breach of contract.

The lawsuit also claims that funeral home employees were late picking up the family on the morning of the funeral and the limousine driver went to the wrong church further delaying the family.

WHNT News 19 contacted Nelms Funeral Home but employees refused to comment and said any statement would come from their lawyer but did not provide us with the name of an attorney.

The Better Business Bureau rates the Nelms Funeral home with an A+ and has had only one complaint in the past several years, according to the BBB website.

John A. Brinkley, Jr., the attorney for the family, told WHNT News 19 this is not the first time his firm has sued the Nelms Funeral Home.

“I can only pray this was an isolated event, but from my understanding I do not know that it was,” Brinkley said Tuesday.

Family members who did not want to go on camera said Tuesday they are trying to get through this very difficult time and the added stress the alleged botched funeral arrangements have had on the family.