Tort law has long imposed greater liability for the mishandling of corpses. A story out of Indianapolis seems to beg for such a lawsuit. The Marion County Coroner’s Office was called to retrieve the body of Teresa Smith, 48, who weighed 750 pounds. In front of family, the coroner’s office dragged the body out of the house on her bed and across the lawn — then loaded her on a flat-bed, openback wrecker where she was transported covered in part of a torn-off dirty carpet.
Smith’s boyfriend and the couple’s 13-year-old son and witnesses watched the horrific scene. While the city has specially designed ambulances that can handle people up to 1000 pounds, the wrecker and carpet was viewed as the best option. Detective Marcus Kennedy is quoted as saying “We debated for quite a while about how we were going to get her out of there and so we finally decided, since we didn’t have a van that was large enough to carry her, it was decided between (the police) department and the coroner’s office to use (the truck).”
Even witnesses objected to the utter lack of care and dignity in the removal. It appears that Indianapolis has redesigned its coroner’s office under the Monty Python model of corpse collection.
For the full story, click here.
16 thoughts on “Bring Out Your Dead: City Under Fire For Abuse of Women’s Corpse”
I worked on an ambulance for a while , and our gurneys were only made to hold up to 600lbs. We had a patient so fat they had to break out more of the doorframe in her mobilehome to get her out, and hat to use a forklift fashioned as a carrier to get her to the hospital. Alas, it took too long to accomplish this task, (at great blood, sweat, tears and taxpayer expense) that she passed shortly after arriving. Yes, a few people have thyroid problems….but a lot of the morbidly obese DO NOT> They do not take care of themselves,then expect us to keep coming and rescuing them. Don’t get me wrong, I have compassion for a person in pain, but at the same time am not going to ruin my back trying to lift their heavy butts. This thoughtless woman should have made arrangements beforehand. Or maybe the family could have found a better way…some people expect society to take care of all their problems. Yet I also agree that those people could have found a more appropriate, respectful way to cover her, like a comforter (or two, or three, or four). It is sad to see the damage that overeating and obesity is doing to our society. The real loser id her son, who will have to grow up without a mom because she could not control herself.
You’ve still only illustrated that you are an clod who lacks any empathy for others. Good show. Glad you’re proud to be emotionally semi-literate and have all the maturity and understanding of the human condition displayed by a 10 year old. Next time something bad happens to your family and you can’t garner any sympathy for you or your family? Remember this episode and that bad karma is a bitch. Enjoy.
I don’t have much compassion for people who allow themselves to become obese, but it takes a special set of genes (and jeans) to become 750lbs. I doubt there was much she could have done.
Sorry I didn’t mean that to sound so combative. I just meant that regardless of how you feel about obese/extremely obese people, this is still a person who has loved ones. Would you be okay with someone putting your relative’s body in the back of a pickup truck and driving around town with it?
I find it shocking that someone is arguing that dragging a dead body on the ground and transporting it on the back of a flat bed truck with a tarp over it is perfectly okay. This was someone’s mom, someone’s daughter… what the hell is wrong with you?
Again, she should have taken responsibility for her body while she was alive. She failed to do so, so she can’t expect too much from someone else forced to deal with the consequences. If her relatives want to sue someone, they can sue her estate. Contributory negligence should apply to the deceased.
Americans are the fattest people in the world, because they eat too much. I understand some obese patients do have underlying medical reasons, but the problem is beyond a few of these folks, otherwise we wouldn’t have such high obesity rates, would we? And the stats. only get worse.
Often folks that weigh that much have an underlying health issue that contributed to being that heavy. It seems that for some blaming the suffering person or disregarding the sorrow of the family is easier than looking inside for empathy and compassion.
Now, if she had died of swine flu or something else she would not be blamed. When are folks going to realize that being obese is not a reason to heap abuse on the individual. Obese people suffer as much discrimination as gay and other minorities.
Wow, I can’t believe what you just said. Let’s see now…
The average football player weighs 254…
The average salary of a football player is greater that $1.2 million annually.
Are they a drain on society?
The average basketball player weighs 210…
The avarage salary of a basketball player is greater than $2 million annually
Are they a drain on society??
I weigh 250, I have black belt in karate, I earn well over $100,000 annually of which I contribute greater that 10% of my total income to charity. I am very active physically, etc, etc. etc.
Am I a drain on society?
Predjudice… that is what afflicts you Alan.
Compassion… that is what you need Alan.
Perhaps some research on obesity would enlighten you. The Center for Disease Control says “Overall there are a variety of factors that play a role in obesity. This makes it a complex health issue to address.” You can read more on their site but I doubt you will make the effort.
So as you may or (more likely) may not see, the problem is not as simplistic as you seem to state. Given your comments I really don’t expect you to change your attitude any time soon. But it is up top you to continue living in your little cave or be enlightened.
I am 6′-6″ and weigh over 200 lbs, 250 to be exact. As far as I know I am not a drain on society, my heart and arteries are fine, low cholesterol, I don’t eat much and rarely go to the doctor other than for a flu shot or sore throat once every couple of years and I pay for my health insurance and large amounts of taxes.
I think you must actually be fat and are projecting. Furthermore you seem to be suffering from a disease called cranial rectumitis. The indications are an irritated, inflamed rectum caused by your head being up your a**. The cure is knowledge, taken in copious amounts. You need a double dose.
Can you even take a double dose of copious?
Alan, your comments are truly remarkable. Do I correctly conclude, then, that the dignity with which the dead should be treated is a function of their perceived value while alive? For example, when a convict dies in prison, should we go to the trouble of a gurney, or simply tie their bodies to the back of a pickup and drag them to Boot Hill? I suppose you would also agree that relatives who waste their love on such persons ought not to be heard to complain about the manner of their disposition. Did you not have a proper breakfast this morning?
A lack of compassion says a lot about a person. The willingness to be proud of it says something altogether different.
Budda, yes, I have no sympathy. What did the relatives expect to happen? People who weigh more than 200 lbs are a huge drain on society. Should we pay for their health care? Ambulances that can hold them? Should we suffer their sweaty corpulent bodies sitting next to us on the bus or plane? She bought this on herself. Its called gluttony. And I have no sympathy, for either her or her relatives.
Anybody remember the story line at the end of “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?” The sadist need to be publicly pummeled.
Your indifference to the fact this isn’t about her alone, but about the staggering indifference showed to her living loved ones by those collecting the body tell me a lot about your ability to empathize. Or lack thereof.
750 lbs? They took as much care of her body after death as she took during her life. Seems pretty reasonable to me.
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