Memorial Park fined by state for reusing casket

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Memorial Park Funeral Home & Cemetery

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — State regulators fined an East Memphis cemetery and funeral home for using all or part of a casket that had previously been used, records show.

Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery was fined a $1,500 civil penalty by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance on December 3.

According to the disciplinary action, Memorial Park “used a casket or any part of a casket that had been used previously in connection with the disinterment and reinterment of a deceased human body.”

The incident dates to June 5, 2019 at Memorial Park’s Poplar Avenue cemetery, according to a summary from the state.

An anonymous complainant told a state board that Memorial Park had disinterred a body because of casket and vault damage, and a manager then placed the body in a previously used casket with no interior materials.

A response from Memorial Park included in the state’s consent order indicated that the situation was urgent, and that the interior materials were replaced.

Tara Bessling, area director of operations, provided this statement on the matter:

“Since 1925, families across Memphis have entrusted Memorial Park Funeral Home & Cemetery with the care of their loved ones and it’s a responsibility we take very seriously. We’ve worked closely with the State of Tennessee to remedy this situation to the satisfaction of everyone involved. Out of honor and respect for the family’s privacy, we have no further comment at this time.”

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