|The man was accidentally cremated after an attendant at the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office mixed up two bodies with the same name (Picture: Google)|
A coroner’s office in Los Angeles has accidentally cremated the wrong man after confusing his remains with those of another man with the same name. The two men, who were both called Jorge Hernandez, were being kept at the morgue in Los Angeles.
One had died from an accidental drug overdose earlier this month and the other was scheduled to be cremated. But when the coroner’s attendant went to prepare the body for the scheduled cremation, he failed to check the coroner case number and sent the wrong remains for cremation.
The attendant only realised the major mistake he’d made when a mortuary arrived the same day to pick up the 26-year-old man’s remains and found his body had already been cremated.
|Jorge Hernandez, 26, was mistaken for another man with the same name and accidentally cremated (Picture: Attorney Luis Carrilllo)|
Armand Montiel, a spokesperson for the coroner’s office, said the chief medical examiner has apologised to the man’s family. He added: ‘It was an oversight caused by human error. The department is profoundly sorry for any additional discomfort that this has caused the loved ones of Mr. Hernandez.’
But Hernandez’s parents have now filed claims against the office, saying they had intended to donate his organs and were preparing the funeral when they were given the news. Their lawyer, Luis Carrillo, said: ‘They are culpable. They denied this family visitation. They denied this family the chance to remember their son.’
According to the Los Angeles Times, the coroner’s office has had a backlog in cases due to staffing shortages and since September 21, tests have not been completed on more than 1,500 bodies.