When we give our recently passed loved ones away to a funeral home, we expect them to be cared for. The entire funeral industry depends on their ability to promise care and comfort to families during the most difficult time in their lives. When a funeral home betrays that trust, it leaves a black stain that’s difficult to clean up.
Swanson Funeral Home, a staple of Flint, MI for over 50 years states on their site, “We are known as, ‘The Home of Comfort’ because of our dedication to providing peace of mind to all of our customers through caring and personal services.
“Our knowledgeable and experienced staff is committed to servicing each family from start to finish with compassion and excellence.”
On July 12, 2017, the state of Michigan shut Swanson down after it discovered the “deplorable” and “unsanitary conditions” in which the establishment was kept. State inspectors investigated the business after complaints were filed. Here’s what they discovered:
- Maggots on the floor of the facility’s garage and garage door.
- Unrefrigerated human bodies for up to five months
- Consistent smell of decomposing bodies
- Unsanitary preparation room without equipment or supplies necessary for embalming.
- Blood and fluid stained casket pillows laying in the hallway.
- Repeated violations of standards and laws enforced by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration affecting the handling, custody, care or transportation of a dead human body.
That’s just scratching the surface. According to LARA’s Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau Director Julia Dale in a statement, “Michigan residents trust funeral home directors, owners, and their establishments to follow the law, especially when dealing with the death of a loved one.
“We will continue to aggressively hold every funeral home in Michigan to the highest standards of public health and safety when providing final arrangements.”
Swanson Funeral Home could face up to $10,000 in fines for each violation. Chances are the establishment’s license won’t last too much longer. Nor should it. If the funeral directors are incapable of showing families’ lost loved ones then they don’t deserve to be trusted with their bodies.
In 2015, a similar incident occurred at a funeral home in Toledo, Ohio. Unrefrigerated bodies were found stacked on top of one another and bodies intended to be taken to the crematorium were left in cardboard containers. Various instruments were left out in the open in the embalming room and dryer sheets had been taped to the air vents in order to mask the odors. After a thorough investigation, Tate funeral home lost their licensing and families of the deceased rallied together to sue the funeral home for the lack of care their recently passed loved ones had received.