AP NEWS

West Virginia funeral home settles complaint over contracts

February 22, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia attorney general’s office has settled a complaint with the operators of a Putnam County funeral home over its business practices.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced the settlement Wednesday.

Morrisey filed a complaint in 2015 alleging Gatens-Harding Funeral Home of Poca violated state law by cashing in on pre-need funeral contracts before the customers’ deaths.

Under the settlement, the funeral home and any its owners are prohibited from selling such contracts or accepting payments for funeral services prior to a customer’s death. Existing contracts will be subject to occasional audits, and current pre-need customers also will be given the option to transfer their contracts to another funeral home.

The funeral home also must pay $25,000 to cover the state’s investigation.