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RESTLAND FUNERAL HOME, INC. Defendant. § § § § § § § § § IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF
Filed 12 March 19 A1:58 Gary Fitzsimmons District Clerk Dallas District
DALLAS COUNTY, TEXAS B-44TH _______ JUDICIAL DISTRICT
PLAINTIFFS’ ORIGINAL PETITION Plaintiffs Toni and Ed Allen complain that certain actions by Defendant Restland Funeral Home Defendants JPMorgan Chase Bank and Portfolio violate provisions of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Allens’ contract with Restland. I. DISCOVERY DESIGNATION 1. Plaintiffs designate this case under Level 2 for the purposes of discovery under the
Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. II. PARTIES 2. Plaintiffs are individuals and residents of Dallas County, Texas, and consumers
within the meaning of 15 U.S.C. §1692c(d); 3. Defendant Restland Funeral Home, Inc. a corporation authorized to do business in
the State of Texas. It may be served through its registered agent, CT Corporation System, 350 N. St. Paul Street, Suite 2900, Dallas, Texas 75201-4234.
III. JURISDICTION AND VENUE 4. This Court has jurisdiction because the amount in controversy is within the
jurisdictional limits of the Court. 5. Venue is proper in this case because the events giving rise to the causes of action
occurred in whole or in part in Dallas County, Texas. IV. FACTS 6. The Allens’ son, Brien Allen, passed away on May 12, 2011. The Allens
contacted Restland about funeral arrangements for Brien. Ultimately, the Allens selected a package offered by Restland called the “Bronze Memories Service Package.” Restland
representatives told the Allens what they could expect from the “Bronze Memories Service Package.” A key element for the Allens was the professionalism that Restland promised it would provide before, during, and after Brien’s services. 7. Regrettably, during this unfortunate time, Restland either took advantage of the
Allens or simply failed to do what any reasonable person would have expected under the circumstances. The Allens were burying their son and understandably under a tremendous strain. The Allens relied upon Restland to provide the services that Restland promised it would provide. However, Restland failed the Allens in several material ways: A. Several funeral attendees noticed that Restland employees rolled their eyes at the Allens and their guests, and overall appeared put upon to extend the simplest of courtesies to the family.
Despite Restland’s representations that someone from Restland would be available to assist the Allens during visitation, the Allens and their guests were left alone by Restland during Brien’s visitation.
Pursuant to the agreements between the Allens and Restland, Brien’s casket was to be opened for family visitation only at 5:30 p.m. prior to the funeral services. No one from Restland assisted the Allens following the visitation, and if Mr. Allen had not tracked down a Restland employee then Brien’s casket would have remained open all night.
The Allens were promised a kneeler in front of Brien’s casket so that Catholic guests could pay their respects. Restland failed to provide a kneeler.
Restland employees refused to allow the Allens to place a crucifix on Brien’s casket during the funeral services.
The visitation room provided by Restland was in a direct pathway to the restroom. The Allens’ final moments with Brien were disrupted by a parade of other Restland customers en route to the restroom.
The flowers purchased by the Allens for Brien’s funeral services were not in place during the funeral services.
Flowers sent to the funeral home on behalf of Brien were placed in the wrong visitation room away from the Allens’ room.
At the cemetery, Restland’s representatives again treated the Allens with disrespect, first by asking the pall bears to help “unload” Brien’s casket, and then by misspelling Brien’s name on the temporary grave marker.
Following the grave side services, the Allens were extremely dissatisfied with
Restland’s services. The Allens sent Restland a letter outlining their specific complaints. Restland denied any responsibility. 9. Unbelievably, Restland has continued its mistreatment of the Allens, even though
Restland has full knowledge that the Allens have been dissatisfied with the way Restland has handled Brien’s funeral. Specifically, Brien’s grave site has been severally neglected by Restland staff. Other grave sites are kept clean and well groomed. Brien’s grave site has become a collection point for garbage and leaves, and generally looks terrible. 10. Finally, the Allens selected a headstone for Brien’s grave, only to be told by
Restland that the Allens cannot place their chosen headstone on Brien’s grave because of Restland’s restrictions. The headstone that the Allens want to use is not unlike other headstones that are located a few yards away from Brien’s grave site. Prior to telling the Allens that they cannot place their chosen headstone on Brien’s grave, Restland never told the Allens about any restriction on headstones, or that there were any requirements at all relating to headstones. V. CLAIMS FOR RELIEF Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. 11. 12. 13. The Allens provided the statutory notice 60 days before filing this claim for relief. Restland has violated Tex. Bus. & Com. Code §17.46.(b)(7) and §17.50(a)(2)-(3) The Allens demand all relief available to them under the Texas Deceptive Trade
Practices Act, including actual 15 U.S.C. §§1692c(a)(1), (2), (3); 15 U.S.C. §1692c(c); 15 U.S.C. §§1692d(5)-(6); 15 U.S.C. §§1692e(2), (5), (8), (10); and 15 U.S.C.§1692f(1).
Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. §1692k(a), Plaintiffs demand judgment for economic
damages, and damages for mental anguish. 15. Restland acted intentionally, and the Allens demand judgment for three times the
amount of economic damages and mental anguish damages pursuant to Tex. Bus. & Com. Code §17.50(b)(1). Fraud by Nondisclosure 16. Restland concealed certain facts from the Allens regarding restrictions on the type
of headstone the Allens could select for Brien’s grave. 17. 18. Restland had a duty to disclose any such restrictions. Any restrictions on the type of headstone was material to the Allens and would
have made a difference in where the Allens ultimately decided to bury Brien. 19. Restland knew that the Allens were ignorant of the facts and that the Allens did
not have an equal opportunity to discover the facts. 20. 21. Restland was deliberately silent when it had a duty to speak. By failing to disclose the restrictions on the type of headstone, Restland intended
to induce the Allens to take some action (ie. purchase a burial plot). 22. 23. 24. The Allens relied upon Restland’s nondisclosure. The Allens have been injured by Restland’s nondisclosure. The Allens demand judgment against Restland for damages that are within the
jurisdictional limits of the Court. 25. damages. Restland acted fraudulently. The Allens demand judgment for exemplary
Negligence 26. Upon agreeing to perform Brien’s funeral services, Restland undertook a duty to
the Allens to ensure that its representatives performed the services up to the standards expected from a reasonably prudent funeral provider. 27. Restland breached its duty to the Allens because Restland’s representatives failed
to perform Brien’s funeral up to the standards expected from a reasonably prudent funeral director. 28. Restland’s breach of its duty to the Allens has proximately caused the Allens
damages in an amount that is with in the jurisdictional limits of the Court. The Allens demand judgment against Restland. Conditions Precedent 29. All conditions precedent have occurred.
WHEREFORE Plaintiffs request that the Court set this matter for trial and award Plaintiffs the relief requested herein, and for any other relief to which they are entitled. Respectfully submitted, DAVID, GOODMAN & MADOLE, A Professional Corporation
By: /S/ Brett Myers Brett L. Myers State Bar No. 00788101 Two Lincoln Centre 5420 LBJ Freeway, Suite 1200 Dallas, Texas 75240 972/991-0889 972/404-0516 Telecopier ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFFS
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