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Children of 87-year-old Long Island woman sue funeral home for $88million

Children of 87-year-old Long Island mother who died of Covid sue funeral home for $88million after staff ‘accidentally buried the wrong woman’

  • The body of another woman was buried in the place of Sadie Williams in August 
  • 87-year-old’s children found out about the funeral home’s mistake the next day
  • They are suing the Long Island home for $88 million over the apparent mix-up
  • Sadie’s daughter Salimah claimed she knew from the start it was not her mother 
  • Queried body with the funeral home director, but was told it was definitely Sadie 


Sadie Williams, 87, died from Covid in August

The children of an 87-year-old Long Island woman who died of Covid are suing the funeral home for $88million after staff allegedly accidentally buried the wrong woman.  

Salimah Lee, Ishmael Williams and their nine siblings are suing Slinger-Hasgill Funeral Home in Amityville over the alleged mix-up which meant their mother, Sadie Williams, was not buried in the plot next to their father. 

The children buried a woman they were told was their mother on August 20 after pre-planning the service so she would be laid to rest within 72 hours of her death in compliance with Islamic burial rites. 

But a day after the funeral they were told the body belonged to another woman who had been buried next to their father Franklin who passed away three years ago. 

Lee has claimed she knew from the start it was not her mother but that when she asked why the body looked so different and was wearing a kid’s watch, she was ignored. 

According to the lawsuit, Lee claims Slinger-Hasgill said her mother’s arm and markings looked different because of the embalming process, but insisted it was the correct body.

‘I stood at the top of the steps with Joe Slinger and said that’s not my mother, he said ‘of course it is,'” Salimah Lee told ABC. 

‘I go to the coffin, first thing I noticed, that’s not my mother and she was wearing a child’s watch.’

Lee was phoned by Slinger-Hasgill the day after the funeral and told of the mistake. 

Salimah Lee, (left) Ishmael Williams (right, with his attorney Phil Rizzuto) and their nine siblings are suing Slinger-Hasgill Funeral Home in Amityville for $88million over the alleged mix-up

Salimah Lee, (left) Ishmael Williams (right, with his attorney Phil Rizzuto) and their nine siblings are suing Slinger-Hasgill Funeral Home in Amityville for $88million over the alleged mix-up

The day after the funeral the family were told the body was not Sadie (pictured ) but another woman who had been buried next to their father Franklin  who passed away three years ago

The day after the funeral the family were told the body was not Sadie (pictured ) but another woman who had been buried next to their father Franklin  who passed away three years ago

The Slinger-Hasgill funeral home (pictured director then allegedly encouraged Lee to sign paperwork to exhume the body and swap it as a single child, speeding up the process

The Slinger-Hasgill funeral home (pictured director then allegedly encouraged Lee to sign paperwork to exhume the body and swap it as a single child, speeding up the process

The funeral home director then allegedly encouraged Lee to sign paperwork to exhume the body and swap it as a single child, speeding up the process. 

But Lee refused and instead waited for all 11 of her siblings to sign affidavits before a second funeral, with the correct body, took place on September 8. 

Williams’ attorney Phil Rizzuto said: ‘It is unconscionable, how such egregious actions can take place.

‘The most disturbing thing about this case is that the family pointed out the error and Mr. Slinger-Hasgill refused to even consider the possibility of making a mistake.’

The 11 siblings are seeking $33 million in compensatory damages and $55 million in punitive damages, according to the lawsuit. Slinger-Hasgill refused to comment.

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