Siblings sue funeral home

A brother and sister are taking a B.C. hospital and funeral home to court over allegations that their 95-year-old mother's body was transferred without their consent and had to be tracked down.

James and Jacqueline Haliburton allege that St. Paul's Hospital and First Memorial Funeral Services were negligent and broke the province's consumer protection rules.

The siblings say in court documents that they met with a North Vancouver funeral home on Feb. 26, 2013, to get a quote for a cremation but decided instead to use a less expensive company called A Basic Cremation.

The Haliburtons allege that ABC called the hospital, but was told the body wasn't there, investigated further and learned it had been picked up by the first company.

Consumer Protection of B.C. rules say a funeral provider must not provide services without written authorization.

The Haliburtons' claims have not yet been tested in court, but they're seeking general and punitive damages, saying they suffered psychological pain and suffering, sleep deprivation, anxiety and a prolonged grief.


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