Woman whose slain son was buried without her loses appeal

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MT. MORRIS, Mich. (AP) — A woman whose 20-year-old son was buried before she arrived at a Flint-area cemetery has failed to persuade the Michigan Court of Appeals to reinstate her claims of intentional emotional distress.

Vernisha Key sued the owner of Flint Memorial Park after the funeral of Desmond Savage Jr., who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Flint in 2016.

Key arrived 15 minutes after the scheduled time of the graveside service. The casket had been lowered to the ground and covered with dirt, according to a summary of the dispute.

An uncle was present, but he said he didn’t know if other family members would attend. The casket was removed from the hearse and the service proceeded.

The appeals court last week said the burial “may be lamentable and worthy of sympathy for the disappointed mourners.” But the court found it was not “sufficiently extreme and outrageous” enough to support an emotional distress claim against the cemetery.

In a 3-0 opinion, the appeals court affirmed the decision of a Genesee County judge who had ruled against Key. Other claims in the lawsuit were also dismissed.

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