By Associated Press - Thursday, October 29, 2015

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - A county has reached a $165,000 settlement with two families over a body mix-up at a morgue that led to one man being incorrectly cremated and another man entombed in his place.

Montgomery County commissioners this week approved the payment, ending a four-year legal battle over a lawsuit filed by the families of Frank Granato, 55, of Carmel, Indiana, and Arthur Potter, 67, of Greenwood, Indiana, the Dayton Daily News reported ( The men were killed in a plane crash in March 2010 in Union County.

The men’s damaged bodies couldn’t be identified by sight after they were taken to the Union County coroner’s office, and they were sent to Montgomery County for autopsies and identification.

Potter’s family had Granato’s body cremated, and Granato’s family held a Catholic funeral and had Potter’s body entombed in a mausoleum. Granato’s widow discovered the mix-up after she received the wrong personal effects, including a jacket with a patch with Potter’s last name sewn on it, according to the lawsuit.

Granato’s cremation went against his and his family’s personal and religious final wishes, his family said.

The lawsuit claimed Montgomery County Deputy Coroner Robert Shott didn’t properly ensure the bodies were correctly identified before releasing them to the families. The lawsuit accused Shott of failing to obtain the results of fingerprint analysis and not asking the families about physical characteristics that could have helped with identification.

Shott’s attorneys have argued that he didn’t act in a reckless manner and was statutorily immune from litigation.

Montgomery County Coroner James Davis declined to discipline any employees in his office over the mix-up, saying an internal investigation concluded they didn’t violate policy.


Information from: Dayton Daily News,

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