Family Has Grave Concerns About Casket

The family of Clarence Budy Simons Jr. made a grave discovery in 2005: The casket he was buried in wasn't the one they bought.

And it leaked.

Simons' estate has sued the manufacturer of the casket, Batesville Casket Co. of Batesville, Ind., and the funeral home that handled the arrangements, Griffin Leggett Healey & Roth Funeral Home of Little Rock.

When Simons died in July 2002, the Simons family shelled out $1,745 for an Addison 20 gauge casket that was supposed to be leak-proof for 75 years.

But in 2005, Simons' family learned that some "leak-proof" caskets made by Batesville Casket weren't so watertight, according to the family's lawsuit filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court by their attorney, Charles Phillip Boyd Jr. of Little Rock.

In May 2005, the family exhumed Simons to see if the casket had leaked.

Sure enough, the family said, the casket had leaked and didn't preserve Simons. (We'll spare you the details.)

The family also learned the casket Simons was in was of "significantly less quality" and cheaper than the one they ordered.

The family said the situation has caused severe emotional distress and has listed several counts on which they are seeking damages, including breach of contract.

Griffin Leggett said it hasn't been served with the lawsuit, so it can't comment. And the Batesville Casket folks said it couldn't comment on pending litigation.