Judge: Embattled Carlisle crematorium may have solid defamation claims

Published: Sunday, December 17, 2017 @ 11:06 AM

Company losses license

A Montgomery County judge has ruled Premium Mortuary Services may have a basis for defamation claims against the lawyer who sued them and allegedly made a “bodies decomposing with flies and maggots” statement to the media.

Last summer the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors temporarily revoked the crematory’s license after a board inspector found:

  • “a slight odor of decomposition” around an exterior garage door that was slightly open;
  • three deceased human bodies in alternate cardboard containers — one on a cot, and the other two each on separate eight-foot tables, located outside of two coolers. These three bodies had been embalmed;
  • a three-person cooler not functioning properly with a temperature of about 68 degrees, according to the temperature gauge;
  • a walk-in cooler not functioning properly with a temperature of about 62 degrees;
  • an odor of decomposition inside the facility;
  • dead flies on the floor and live ones flying around the facility; and
  • a temperature of 95 degrees in the cremation retort area and 93 degrees on the garage door, according to documents.

RELATED: Carlisle crematory’s license revoked

Richard Schulte, an attorney with Wright Schulte, sued the crematory on behalf of his client Sharon Hart of Trotwood, whose son was at the facility.

Premium counter-sued claiming Schulte defamed them. Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Richard Skelton ruled recently the crematory may have a point and refused to dismiss the claims as Schulte asked.

“The following statement appears to express verifiable facts: ‘They left bodies decomposing, with flies and maggots.’ The second statement: ‘Bodies of people that were cremated were mixed up, left on the floor…’ appears factual to this Court,” Skelton wrote.

“There are some statements that may be considered ‘opinion’ but, as indicated, this Court looked at whether the specific language would cause the reasonable listener to perceive the statement(s) as fact or opinion. This Court, looking at the statements in the broader context, finds that a reasonable listener would perceive the statements as noted hereinabove do not come close to being an opinion in any context.”

MORE: Family files civil lawsuit against Carlisle crematory

The crematory’s license was temporarily reinstated in August.

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Councilman apologizes for comments to Plush family amid calls for resignation

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 4:49 AM

Cincinnati council member apologizes to Plush family

A Cincinnati councilman is apologizing for comments he made to Kyle Plush’s family while the county’s republican chairman has called for his resignation.

Democratic Cincinnati City Councilman Wendell Young implied Plush’s family may seek financial compensation for the teen’s death in a Tuesday special council meeting, saying, “But there’s no amount of money that’s going to make you happy.”

Kyle Plush suffocated in a van last week despite calling 911 twice.

>> RELATED: Family of Kyle Plush storms out of Cincinnati special council meeting

“The choice of words I used, while not intending to cause hurt, allowed them to misinterpret what I was trying to say,” Young said at Wednesday’s council meeting, according to our partners at WCPO. “My fault entirely.”

Alex Triantafilou, chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party, called for Young’s resignation, according to WCPO.

>>RELATED: How did Cincinnati teen become trapped, suffocate in van seat?

“I was offended and hurt for the family,” Triantafilou said. “I think our community has been so affected by this tragedy, and to have an elected leader in government make remarks that were so cross and painful — I was sad. I was saddened by the whole thing.”

Young's colleagues on city council said the exchange was embarrassing. 

>> RELATED: Who was Kyle Plush? Community remembers teen crushed to death by van seat

"You have to be ultra-sensitive and supportive of the family, and he definitely missed the mark there," Republican Amy Murray said. "It was shocking to me." 

Democrat Tamaya Dennard also called it "shocking," while fellow Democrat Greg Landsman called it "awful." 

"I don't know how to explain it. It was a terrible, terrible thing," Landsman said. 

>> RELATED: ‘Tell my mom I love her if I die’, teen pleads as van seat fatally crushes him

Tim Burke, the county's Democratic Party chairman, told WCPO by phone that calls for Young's resignation were unjustified.

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WATCH: Cruiser camera catches house explosion after driver crashes into gas line

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 4:23 AM

MUST SEE: House explodes after crash cuts gas line

Police cruiser camera caught footage of a house explosion after the driver of a car lost control and hit the house and struck a gas line.

A mother, father and their adult son were inside the home at the time of the crash and explosion. Officers could hear screaming in the house and breached a back door to rescue the family from the wreckage, according to the Hurst Police Department.

>> Evidence collected at site of fatal Kettering house explosion

The woman was found severely injured and buried in rubble. The son was treated and released from the hospital, while both the mother and father are being treated for serious burn injuries, according to police.

Two officers outside the house were also injured in the explosion. Both of their injuries were reported to be minor, but one of the officers went to a hospital to be checked out.

>> Kettering house explosion investigation could take months

The driver of the car that lost control was not seriously injured, but was arrested for not having a valid driver’s license, according to a city spokesperson.

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Local man wins $20,000 in popular ‘HQ Trivia’ game app 

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 2:31 AM

Local man wins $20K from popular phone app

A Miamisburg man won $20,000 after recently playing the popular HQ Trivia game app on his phone.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Butler County, Cincinnati  shops offer deals for Record Store Day

Jason Varney answered 15 trivia questions correctly on the app that typically allows people, twice a day, to attempt to get 12 trivia questions right in efforts to win part of a $5,000 jackpot.

In Varney’s case, the prize amount went up to $250,000 as part of a marketing deal between the app and a movie. The increased prize money also called for an increase in the number of questions he had to answer, from 12 to 15.

“When I was getting past question 12, my heart was pumping out of my shirt. I could’t believe what was going. It was visibly beating through my shirt. It was incredible”, Varney said. 

>>WHIO Mobile Alerts

He said the $20,000 will allow him to fly to Florida to see his great grandmother, who is recovering from a heart procedure. 

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40-plus cats euthanized after infection sweeps Tenn. animal shelter 

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 4:15 AM

Animal lovers angry after 40-plus cats euthanized at Tenn shelter.

An animal shelter in Tennessee is defending its decision to euthanize more than 40 cats after an infection swept through the facility. 

>> Woman hospitalized after pet cat attacks 

According to WATE-TV, animal lovers became outraged after learning the Pets without Parents shelter, which was reported to be a “no-kill” facility, put down dozens of cats. 

After weeks of attempting to nurse close to 50 cats that became infected with upper respiratory infections back to health, the shelter said euthanization was their last resort and only option. 

“My heart is animals,” said Lory Souders, the shelter’s president. “I’ve tried to save as many as I can.”

Although a number of people in the community claim the shelter isn’t doing enough to properly care for the animals and prevent disease from spreading, Souders says the problem is overcrowding.

>> Cat rescued from tree near Hospice of Dayton

Pets Without Parents has a contract with the county and the city, and must accept all pets dropped off by animal control.

"We have had a situation here," Souders said. "We've been full for a long time."

Not only are they full, but they're well over capacity. The facility is built to house around 150 pets, and it's now holding more than 200.

Despite the overcrowded challenges, Souders said the only time they euthanize is when animals are either too aggressive or too sick to find a new home.

What the facility really needs, according to Souders, is for more people to give shelter animals loving homes.

Souders hopes this unfortunate situation raises awareness about adopting and volunteering with animals. 

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