An eastern Pennsylvania woman is suing US Airways over claims that the
airline lost the cremated remains of her husband during a trip overseas.
Angeline O’Grady, who lives in Trumbauersville, Bucks County, filed suit in state court on Sept. 18 against US Airways Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. over allegations that the defendants negligently misplaced her late spouse’s ashes.
O’Grady, who was widowed after her husband, Brian O’Grady, succumbed to cancer in October 2011, had gone to Philadelphia International Airport the following month to follow up on her deceased husband’s final wishes; he wanted to be cremated and have his remains scattered at a cemetery in Hull, England, where his mother’s ashes were scattered months before.
Prior to her husband’s death, Angeline O’Grady told the man she’d honor his dying wish and spread his ashes at the English cemetery.
In her civil action, Angeline O’Grady claims that she attempted to transport the cremated remains in her carry-on luggage, but was told at a security checkpoint that she’d have to place the urn with her checked luggage because the ashes were not a solid substance.
“The Plaintiff trusted and relied upon the assurances given to her by US Airways that this extremely valuable property would be handled with the utmost care and respect and placed in her checked bag,” the complaint reads.
Apparently, that’s not what happened, since upon her arrival in England the plaintiff noticed that her dead husband’s ashes were missing from her bags.
To this day, the suit claims, US Airways has failed to return the ashes and has never explained what happened to them.
“US Airways, rather than Mr. and Mrs. O’Grady, has had the last word in determining Mr. O’Grady’s final resting place,” the lawsuit states. “He is not at peace. Nor can Plaintiff, his grieving widow, be at peace.”
Brian O’Grady’s “irreplaceable remains,” the complaint says, have been lost due to the defendants’ negligence, recklessness, indifference, callousness and “intentional conduct in the mishandling of his remains,” the suit states.
The complaint says that US Airways knew of the importance in being entrusted with the plaintiff’s late husband’s remains, and was aware that Angeline O’Grady would suffer “great emotional distress” and great loss should the ashes be misplaced or lost.
The complaint contains counts of breach of contract, bailment, negligence, and intentional infliction of mental distress.
The plaintiff seeks more than $50,000 in damages, plus interest, costs and attorneys’ fees.
O’Grady is being represented by Doylestown, Pa. lawyers William L. Goldman and Fredric D. Rubin.
The case ID number is 130902086.