A Texas man suffered “mental anguish” while working at a Fort Worth mortuary, a new lawsuit charges.
Jeremy Hoes, of Saginaw, is suing his former employer, Accu Care Mortuary Service Inc., for financial, physical and emotional damages and seeking monetary relief between $100,000 and $1 million. The legal action was first reported by WFAA-TV in Dallas.
“I think it’s very striking,” attorney Robert E. Goodman Jr. told HuffPost of his client’s claims. “And I think it’s very much the reality of the way this mortuary operates, based on conversations with my client.”
According to a copy of the four-page lawsuit, which Goodman filed Monday in Tarrant County District Court, Hoes began working for Accu Care in October 2013. The documents do not detail what duties Hoes performed, but his attorney said he was working as a mortician.
The lawsuit alleges that less than a month into his employment, Hoes was exposed to hazardous vapors in the body of a man who had killed himself by ingesting paint fumes. Hoes lacked “adequate personal protective equipment” while working on the body and afterward began to suffer from “chronic asthma,” according to the court filing.
Roughly three years later, in December 2016, the lawsuit alleges that Hoes was again placed in a difficult position: He had to perform mortuary services on the bodies of “a woman and a three-month-old son who had been decapitated,” the documents state.
After completing that particular job, Hoes told his employer that he was experiencing a “post-traumatic stress reaction,” according to the lawsuit. The mortuary allegedly instructed Hoes to file a workers’ compensation claim and agreed to cover any remaining medical expenses. The lawsuit says Hoes filed the claim, but was never reimbursed by his employer.
When Hoes complained about the outstanding medical expenses, the lawsuit says he was fired.
An Accu Care office manager referred calls for comment to the company’s lawyer, Joanna Solinas. A secretary at Solinas’ office told HuffPost she was unavailable for comment on Tuesday.