This past May, a Brooklyn couple gave birth to a still-born child in Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital. The couple decided that they wanted bury the child in a family plot in Poland. The Office of the Medical Examiner delivered the body of a still-born infant, however several weeks later the ME’s office discovered that it had sent the couple the wrong body. The couple also has not received copies of the baby’s footprints, nor have they been told the gender. They had requested both of these from the ME’s office.
When a next of kin, in this case the infant’s parents, is denied the immediate access to the decedent’s body, and this causes emotional distress, the next of kin has a right to bring an action for loss of sepulcher. In the case at hand, the time to file a Notice of Claim began to run when the family learned of the misappropriation of the body, as this was when the emotional distress first occurred. The statute of limitations on filing this notice of claim is ninety days. The family learned of the mix-up on July 6 and have already filed their Notice of Claim, obviously well within the allotted timeframe.
To read the full story of this tragic error, visit the NY Post website here.