Bradshaw and Range

Full title: RAASHAN COLEY, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. BRADSHAW & RANGE FUNERAL HOME, P.C., Defendant-Appellee.


Date published: Dec 21, 2020


Raashanai J. Coley (Raashanai) died intestate on September 5, 2014, after being struck in the stomach by her mother, Nicholette Lawrence, following a period of prolonged neglect and abuse. Bradshaw was the funeral establishment that handled Raashanai’s remains and facilitated their transfer to the crematory. At the instruction of her maternal grandfather, Carlton North, Raashanai’s body was cremated on September 26, 2014. The cremation was performed by Mt. Olivet Memorial Park Ltd. (Mt. Olivet). Coley did not learn of his daughter’s death and cremation until October 9, 2014. Coley maintains that, as next of kin, he had the right to control the disposition of his daughter’s remains.


Court Judgment

6 Section 45 of the Remains Act entitled Bradshaw to immunity from Coley’s negligence claim because Bradshaw sufficiently established that it carried out the instructions of North, who represented that he was entitled to control the disposition of Raashanai’s remains. Coley’s arguments that Section 45 required Bradshaw to show that it reasonably relied on North’s instructions are inconsistent with the statute’s plain language. Accordingly, the judgment of the circuit court of Lake County is affirmed.

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