Published: 18 Jan 2013 10:19 GMT+01:00 | Print version
Updated: 18 Jan 2013 18:00 GMT+01:00
"You'll be late for your own funeral" is an oft used phrase and sadly for one French family it rang true when undertakers failed to deliver their mother in time for her own service. Her distraught family were forced to hold the ceremony without her.
The family of Maria-Louise Malca are suing a funeral director in south west town of Bayonne who failed to bring their mother's body in time for her own funeral , French regional Sud-Ouest reported on Thursday.
It was the dying wish of the elderly woman to be buried next to her husband in Villenave d'Ornon, near Bordeaux, a request that necessitated a final 200km journey from the care home where she died.
On the morning of January 11th, the Olhagaray family gathered for her funeral, but when Maria-Louise's body did not show up, they had no choice but to hold the ceremony without her.
When the undertaker finally arrived at Villenave d'Ornon later in the day, many family members had already returned to work.
The Olhagaray family have now hired a lawyer to sue the undertaker for 'moral damages'.
It is not known what caused the funeral home's late show, but when contacted by the Sud-Ouest newspaper, the funeral director acknowledged a "mistake" had been made, but defended the home's actions, claiming that in the course of countless funerals, events like this one were very rare.
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