• The deceased woman's children were not allowed to see the body on the day of the wake
  • The manager said he informed the family about the body's condition the day before
  • The funeral home waited 4 days to collect the body as they waited for the payment

A family in New York City has filed a lawsuit against a funeral home in Brooklyn for allegedly mismanaging the wake of their loved one whose decomposing body was displayed at the wake.

The family of the deceased, identified as 37-year-old Regina Christophe, filed a lawsuit against John J. McManus and Sons Funeral Home after her body was unrecognizable during the memorial service on July 9, New York Post reported.

Christophe died in her sleep on June 24. The family claimed that her body had "maggots crawling" from the eye and was partially wrapped in garbage bags when they saw it two weeks later on the day of the wake.

"The evidence strongly suggests she had not been embalmed, that she had been decomposing over the two weeks she had been at the funeral home. Apart from all, it was just the incredible stench of the decomposing body that permeated the funeral home," the family's attorney Kurt Robertson said in an interview.

"It doesn't look like a person at all. It looks like a mud monster," Robertson added.

Chantal Jean, Christophe's mother, who witnessed the ordeal is still traumatized by the incident. Jean said she did not allow her two grandchildren to see the body as she did not want them to have a tarnished final image of their deceased mother.

The grieving family claimed that on the day of the wake, they could not speak to anyone in charge at the funeral home. The officials allegedly made no attempt to connect with the relatives before they filed a lawsuit.

Meanwhile, the funeral manager Anthony Tenga said multiple reasons could have led to the body's decomposition. He said the time the body was in the heat before being brought to the medical examiner's office and the duration it was at the examiner's office could have affected the body's condition.

Christophe's body was reportedly picked up from the residence on the day she died and it was ready to be released from the medical examiner's office the next day. However, the funeral home collected the body only four days later, on June 29, as they waited to be paid for the arrangements.

"I was devastated by this whole thing. By what she looked like. It was a real disappointment to me professionally and personally," the Tenga said, as reported by News 12.

The funeral manager also claimed that he had informed the family about the body's condition the day before the wake and the day of. "I thought I gave them fair warning," he added.

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