NEW ORLEANS — A St. Tammany Parish mother and daughter are suing the local coroner’s office, alleging negligence in failing to hold a proper funeral for a family member.
Alice Woltmann and Leslie Woltmann filed a lawsuit May 18 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office, alleging negligence in failing to follow the statutory guidelines for coroners.
According to the complaint, Alice Woltmann and Leslie Woltmann were denied the chance to have a proper memorial and funeral for Shawn Woltmann, husband of Alice Woltmann, causing them to suffer severe emotional distress, mental anguish and economic damage, including but not limited to lost of worker’s compensation benefits.
The plaintiffs allege the coroner’s office ordered the cremation of Shawn Woltmann, who died Aug. 13, 2015, although the defendant did not obtain permission from April Woltmann as the surviving spouse and or from her lawyer and refused to release the autopsy report until the plaintiffs paid $300.
The Woltmanns seek trial by jury, judgment for an amount deemed reasonable in the court, plus interest and all legal costs. They are represented by attorneys Kathryn T. Wiedorn and Claudette L. Bienvenu of Pelleteri & Wiedorn LLC in New Orleans.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Case number 2:16-cv-06492