Mother of Trenton, NJ lawyer buried in wrong cemetery next to stranger, lawsuit says
MANALAPAN — The deceased mother of a Trenton attorney was dressed in another woman's clothes and buried in the wrong cemetery next to a strange man because of a botched funeral home job, according to a lawsuit.
Janet Kay passed away on Oct. 3, 2020, according to a civil complaint obtained by New Jersey 101.5. But it says her body was not present three days later at her funeral service.
The suit accuses Bloomfield-Cooper Jewish Chapels of delaying the service at Mount Sinai cemetery in Morganville before finally revealing the mix-up in front of sixty attendees. The revelation left people screaming and caused one person in their 90s to nearly faint.
The Trentonian first reported on the lawsuit filed late last week by Robin Kay Lord and Clifford Bidlingmaier.
“Bloomfield-Cooper Jewish Chapels traumatized my entire family with their gross mishandling of my mother’s remains,” Lord said to The Trentonian. “The disrespect with which they treated my mother was unconscionable. No family should ever endure that.”
Two days before the funeral, Lord's mother was instead buried in a cemetery in North Jersey, according to the complaint. She was adorned with another woman's clothing, jewelry, and wedding ring next to a total stranger.
The lawsuit says that the funeral home chalked up the error to the body having been "improperly tagged during the Tahara washing ritual." As a result, the suit accuses the funeral home of failing to bury Lord's mother with dignity.
"Janet Kay’s final corporal moments in the eyes of the Jewish faith were not presented to her full family and friends," the lawsuit says.
The complaint states that on Oct. 7, the day after the service, Bloomfield-Cooper exhumed Lord's mother.
The next day, Lord traveled to the Manalapan funeral home to confirm that the body was her mother's and saw the body had "experienced decomposition and was not presentable," the suit says. Later that day, a service was held and only Kay's immediate family attended.