CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has upheld Mingo Circuit Court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit against Chafin Funeral Home by the widow of Mingo Sheriff Eugene Crum for funeral and burial expenses.
Mingo Circuit Court had dismissed Rosanna S. Crum’s claims on Nov. 9, 2015. The Supreme Court said it found no error in the decision to dismiss the lawsuit, ruling that no contract existed between Rosanna Crum and the defendants, according to the Oct. 28 decision.
Justice Robin Jean Davis dissented from the majority’s opinion.
Rosanna Crum filed the lawsuit in 2015, claiming that two Mingo County commissioners and a former commissioner assured her that they would take care of the funeral and burial costs of Eugene Crum.
Her lawsuit also claimed that the funeral home arranged an elaborate funeral without her permission and then held her responsible for the costs.
On April 3, 2013, Eugene Crum was killed in the line of duty while in his vehicle eating his lunch. The following day, John Hubbard, Greg “Hootie” Smith, David Baisden and Michael Thornsbury allegedly went to her home and assured her that they would take care of the funeral and burial costs.
Eugene Crum’s services were performed by Chafin, but no payments were made to the funeral home for the costs by Hubbard, Smith, Baisden or Thornsbury. Rosanna Crum claimed when she asked about a headstone for her husband’s grave, she was informed she had to pay the outstanding funeral bill before she could purchase a headstone.
Rosanna Crum then approached two of the county commissioners about payment and one told her they would not pay the bill and the other avoided her, so she paid the funeral costs.
Rosanna Crum filed her complaint against the funeral home and commissioners on April 2, 2015, for the costs related to her husband’s death.
In October 2015, Thornsbury was dismissed from the lawsuit. Chafin was then dismissed in November, and, in December, the commissioners were dismissed.
W.Va. Supreme Court of Appeals case number: 15-1214