NJ Family Sues Funeral Home For Allegedly Putting Wrong Body In Casket

(Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Charlie Kabelac Contributor
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A family filed a $50 million lawsuit earlier in July against two NJ funeral homes after the wrong body was allegedly placed in the casket of Kyung Ja Kim, their 93-year-old matriarch.

The reported mix-up occurred at the deceased’s funeral in Valhalla, NY. The body in the casket was a woman 20 years younger than Kyung Ja Kim with the same last name, North Jersey reported.

Now, Kyung Ja Kim’s family is suing two funeral homes for $50 million: Central Funeral Home of New Jersey, and Blackley Funeral Home and Cremation Services, the outlet reported. The family is also seeking to sue funeral home director Haemin Gina Chong and mortician Bongho Ha, according to North Jersey.

Haemin Gina Chong reportedly started sending family members away from the burial site while the casket was lowered into the ground during the funeral. Chong admitted to the alleged mistake when the family returned from the cemetery to the funeral home, according to North Jersey. (RELATED: Richie Incognito Reaches Plea Deal In Funeral Home Case, Won’t Serve Jail Time)

Kyung Ja Kim’s daughter, Kummi Kim, apparently realized during the ceremony that it was not her mother’s body in the casket. However, she was reassured that the funeral home had used embalming techniques to make her mother look younger, Hawaii News Now reported.

Kummi Kim allegedly fainted from shock at the grave. It was an unfitting and ugly end to her mother’s otherwise peaceful death, Kummi said, according to North Jersey. (RELATED: Funeral Home Van That Was Stolen With Body Still Inside Recovered, Police Say)

Many of Kyung Ja Kim’s family members reportedly traveled from Korea and the West Coast for the funeral. “We trusted the funeral home, but they violated the trust. There was a promise to us,” Kummi’s husband, Taichul Kim, said, according to North Jersey.

The lawsuit, filed in the state Superior Court in Bergen County, lists charges of the loss of right to interment, neglectful infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery and breach of contract, according to North Jersey.