Kendrick Johnson's parents suing Harrington Funeral Home
Kendrick Johnson's body being exhumed on June 14, 2013
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -
The attorney for the funeral home that handled Kendrick Johnson's body says the business did nothing wrong and will fight a lawsuit filed by the teen's family.
Johnson's parents accuse Harrington Funeral Home of fraud and negligence after a second autopsy showed Johnson's organs were missing and his body was stuffed with newspaper.
They claim that Harrington Funeral Home didn't tell them the truth about their son's body.
"It appears that the impetus of the lawsuit is that my client was negligent in, allegedly misrepresented certain information to the Johnson family in regard to their son's body. Of course, we vehemently deny this," explained Roy Copeland, attorney for Harrington Funeral Home.
Kendrick Johnson was found dead inside a rolled up gym mat in the Lowndes County High School gym in January 2013.
Copeland says he will aggressively fight the family's suit.
"We will vehemently fight this law suit because we think some of the allegations misrepresent the true facts," said Copeland.
An investigation by the Secretary of State's Office, which licenses funeral homes, found no violations against Harrington Funeral Home, but it did not determine what happened to Johnson's organs.
"We agree with the conclusions reached by the secretary of state," Copeland stated. "Now, in full disclosure, the Secretary of State says, in his issuance of the letter clearing Mr. Harrington, that it does not foreclose any possibility of a civil action."
And Copeland says it will likely be several months before the civil suit is resolved.
"You will be dealing with it for a period of time, yes," admitted Copeland.
Which means the Johnson case itself is also still far from over.