‘I was floored’: Funeral home bills family over $60,000 for storage of cremains

ORLANDO, Fla. — A local woman cannot believe a funeral home billed her more than $60,000 to temporarily store her husband’s cremated remains.

It’s the latest development in an emotional dispute over a cremation that triggered a two-year legal fight.

Loyce Campbell died two years ago and his wife, Marion, claims the funeral home never gave her the chance to grieve his death as her family planned.

Campbell claims DeGusipe Funeral Home cremated her husband’s remains days before his funeral despite a revised contract she signed a day after he died that included a traditional viewing and funeral with her husband’s body.

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“The treatment she has had to undergo is something that is unimaginable,” said Campbell’s attorney Ortavia Simon.

Simon sued the funeral home for emotional distress and interference with a dead body. The lawsuit claimed state regulations required a signed authorization that included the date of cremation, but that never happened.

“Bottom line is they have to follow the law,” Simon said.

Since Channel 9 first reported her case, Florida regulators found DeGusipe Funeral Home violated Florida statutes that required signed cremation documents and it failed to list services purchased. The Department of Financial Services told Action 9 the agency is currently investigating the funeral home company and complaint, as it moves to a possible hearing.

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Just last month, the funeral home sent Campbell a bill for more than $63,000. The charge was for storage, $95 a day, to shelter her husband’s cremains in an urn the size of a shoebox.

“I was floored. This is unconscionable. It does not make any sense,” Simon said.

Simon claims the funeral home never contacted his client to disclose the daily fee and says the charges are like a slap in the face.

“We’ve been in litigation since 2019. It was calculated.

The owner of DeGusipe Funeral Home declined a direct response.  But his attorney said the funeral home did nothing wrong and in court filings argued that Campbell had told the company to cremate her husband because she could not afford a traditional funeral. The funeral home’s attorney also claims fraudulent evidence was used to make Campbell’s case and that she had refused to retrieve her husband’s ashes.

“I just don’t know what to do,” Campbell said.

The funeral home is disputing the violations found by state regulators.

Funeral contracts signed before need or at the time, must disclose all prices and dates for services.

The Department of Financial Services told Action 9 the agency is currently investigating the funeral home company and complaint, as it moves to a possible hearing.

Todd Ulrich

Todd Ulrich, WFTV.com

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.