Muskogee hospital not liable for mix-up, court says

Wednesday, August 2nd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- The veterans hospital in Muskogee isn't liable for a mix-up that resulted in the wrong body being cremated and a white man's body being shipped to a black man's funeral. The Tenth U-S Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the hospital wasn't negligent and that its conduct wasn't extreme and outrageous.

The children of the wrongfully cremated man, Arthur Radcliff, sued the hospital and three funeral homes after the 1995 cremation. The hospital released Radcliff's body to Sloan's Funeral Home in Tulsa a day after the body of Donald Nelson was released to the same funeral home. Radcliff was black. Nelson was white. Nelson's body was to be cremated, but Radcliff's body was cremated by mistake. Nelson's body was shipped to a Birmingham, Alabama, funeral home where services were to be held for Radcliff.