Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Stumbo Announces Lawsuits Against Four Funeral Homes
Attorney General Greg Stumbo announced today the filing of civil lawsuits against four funeral homes that have failed to file yearly reports regarding their pre-need burial contracts. The funeral homes are located in Henderson (Mason Brothers Audubon Chapel), Mayfield (Mason’s Memorial Chapel), Eddyville (Dunn’s Funeral Home) and McKee (Justice Memorial Funeral Home). The lawsuits were filed in Henderson, Graves, Lyon and Jackson Circuit Courts, respectively.
“My office will continue to enforce Kentucky’s pre-need burial contract laws,” said Attorney General Stumbo. “These laws help protect consumers when they plan their funerals and ensure that the money is there when ultimately needed. These yearly reports are an important tool in monitoring compliance with these laws.”
Pre-need burial contracts, also called prepaid funeral arrangements, are contracts by which consumers arrange and pay for funeral services before they are actually needed. Anyone that offers these contracts or accepts money on them must obtain a license from the Attorney General’s Office and follow certain laws about putting payments into trust, including keeping proper records and cooperating with periodic examinations of those records.
Each of the funeral homes named in the lawsuits has failed to file yearly reports for multiple years, despite continued notification by the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Office. Additionally, Mason’s Memorial Chapel in Mayfield failed to cooperate with an attempt in 2005 to review its pre-need burial contract records. The lawsuits request, among other things, that the defendants be ordered to file the yearly reports and comply with applicable laws, make their business records available for audit, and pay a civil penalty up to $2,000 per violation.
“Consumers should not assume that their money has been mishandled. We are simply making sure that their interests are protected,” Stumbo stated. Anyone with questions about the pre-need burial contract laws may contact the Office of Consumer Protection at (502) 696-5389 or visit the web site at www.ag.ky.gov/consumer.