Recent Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Andre Dawson and his brother Vincent Brown were struck with a lawsuit targeting their funeral home business in Florida. The Guardianship Program of Dade County is suing the brothers for allegedly reneging on a deal to provide prepaid memorial services and burials for deceased clients. The agency claims they were turned away by the funeral home when they tried to make arrangements for their clients.
Clients of the Guardianship Program are elderly, mentally disabled or otherwise deemed unable to care for themselves. The non-profit agency is funded by the county as well as the state of Florida and provides around-the-clock medical care for those who cannot afford it. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim that one man's corpse lay in limbo for weeks because Dawson's Grace Memorial Funeral Home refused to accept the remains. Their lawsuit contends that the Guardianship Program purchased seven prepaid memorial services in 2006 under the home's original owners for more than $40,000. They were purchased to cover the funeral costs for seven wards of the state who were all still alive at the time of the purchase. Allegedly, the new owners, Dawson and Brown, refused to honor the pre-paid funerals and the agency was forced to make other arrangements in one of the cases.
Andre Dawson and Vincent Brown say they too were duped by the previous owner, Samuel Solomon, and that he pocketed the money given to him to cover the seven memorial services. They contend that since they did not make the initial agreement with the Guardianship, they shouldn't have to honor the deal made by Solomon. Additionally, Brown claims that Solomon was not licensed to make such a deal with the agency and therefore the deal is invalid. Lawyers for the agency, however, argue that Dawson and Brown assumed liability for all outstanding contracts once they purchased the business. The lawsuit is seeking $15,000 in damages.