Family members of 45-year-old William Symonette is taking legal action against the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) as they are displeased with his body’s condition when he was handed over to a mortician for burial.
Symonette was found dead on a beach in Rock Sound, Eleuthera last December.
Last week, the family was told that the morgue misplaced Symonette’s body.
Symonette’s sister Sherry Ann Scavella said the morgue found the body last Thursday, but since the family had to travel they were only able to pick up the body on Tuesday.
However, Ms. Scavella told the Journal yesterday that she was very upset when she viewed Symonette’s remains as his torso was left open and red plastic biohazard bag was left in his stomach.
“When I looked at the body to be honest with you it was a total mess. From mid-sternum was exposed. It was a red garbage bag – what was in the bag, I cannot determine. I asked them over and repeatedly what is this? How did the body get like this? They said the body was outside the morgue,” she said.
“I told them ‘I don’t know what this is. This looks like a dead dog thrown on the side of the road.’”
Ms. Scavella said she was also displeased with the morgue officials’ attitude.
“In the beginning they weren’t professional. They weren’t competent. They didn’t compromise. They just didn’t care how we felt,” she said.
Ms. Scavella said she has already taken legal action.
“No one has called us. No one has said absolutely anything to us and I think that is poor. They did the post-mortem and did not attach the body back together. Yes he’s dead but at the end of the day he was still a human being and he had a family. Is that the way you would present a body to a mortician,” she asked.
The relative said the family was set to have a funeral service for Symonette last Saturday but because the body was misplaced, it had to put plans on hold.
Ms. Scavella said the family is also waiting on DNA results.
“Those DNA results are not back. If those results are back they didn’t call the family. I was told at the Coroner’s that his body was burnt before he died and you are going to give me a death certificate that says undetermined? That’s foolishness,” she said.
“If an individual died, something had to cause the death. You didn’t die of natural causes. They need to get it together and if they don’t know how to do their job they need to go back to school.”
Symonette was a father of six and a diver by profession.
His death is now the subject of a coroner’s inquest.