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.
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