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Basagic Funeral Home Faces Disciplinary Charges After Embalming Body Without Permission

April 15, 2008
By CARRA HIGGINS, Staff Writer
The West Virginia Board of Funeral Service Examiners has filed multiple complaints against a Petersburg funeral home and licensees in charge of the home. A scheduled hearing will determine whether the board will revoke, suspend, limit or discipline the accused licenses to practice in West Virginia based upon multiple code violation accusations after embalming a body without permission.

David and Neil Basagic of Basagic Funeral Home in Petersburg are scheduled to appear before Judge Jack McClung at 9:30 a.m. April 23. According to the complaint, the Basagic Funeral Home removed the body of Joey McDonald on or about March 31, 2007, at the request of the Grant County medical examiner. After the body was removed Linda Herron, an aunt of McDonald, informed Neil Basagic that she would contact family members about funeral preparations, according to the complaint.

On April 1, 2007, Neil Basagic asked Herron for permission to embalm McDonald’s body, according to the complaint. Herron then told Basagic she did not have the authority to authorize embalming, according to the complaint. The same day at approximately 2 p.m. Basagic again asked Herron for permission to embalm the body, and again Herron said she could not give permission for embalming, the complaint reads.

At approximately 3:15 p.m. that day McDonald’s family made funeral arrangements with Runner Funeral Home in Elkins and Herron contacted Basagic to inform him about the family’s decision, according to the complaint. At that time Basagic asked Herron again if he could embalm the body, and for the third time Herron said she could not authorize embalming, according to the complaint.

When Runner Funeral Home contacted Basagic Funeral Home about McDonald’s body, Basagic told a Runner representative that the family owed Basagic Funeral Home $325 for embalming and $100 for the removal of the body, according to the complaint. The fees had to be paid before Basagic would release the body to Runner Funeral Home, according to the complaint.

Herron contacted Basagic Funeral Home about the fee and said no one authorized the embalming. Neil Basagic told Herron he was under the impression that she authorized the embalming, according to the report.

The Embalming Report states that Neil Basagic began embalming McDonald’s body April 1, 2007, at noon and finished at 1 p.m.

The West Virginia State Board of Funeral Examiners may discipline or render Basagic’s license based on accusations of dishonesty, fraud, professional negligence in the performance of services, or a willful departure from accepted standards of professional conduct; Neil Basagic embalming McDonald’s body without permission from the person or persons authorized to give permission; David Basagic charging the family $100 for the removal of the body, which should have been charged to the West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner; and detaining human remains for any debt or demand, or upon any pretended lien or charge.

David and Neil Basagic are represented by George Sponaugle II of Franklin. The Board of Funeral Service Examiners will convene in the Kanawaha County Commission courtroom at 409 Virginia St. East in Charleston.

 
 

 

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