Undertakers count cost of drunken coffin spillage

A Swedish firm of funeral directors has agreed to pay 15,000 kronor to two sisters after their father's coffin was tipped without grace into an open grave by pallbearers unsteady on their feet.

The sisters sued the firm after the funeral, which took place in February 2008, left them appalled and claiming that a number of the undertakers were clearly drunk while in charge of the coffin.

The undertakers had been close to dropping the man’s coffin on a number of occasions during the service but the ungraceful dumping of their father into his final resting place proved the final straw for the mourning siblings.

As the pallbearers approached the grave they are reported to have lost their grip which resulted in a heavy fall into the ground with the coffin landing on its side.

“Both daughters were in shock and ran away in tears from the cemetery,” their lawyer Michael Abejon wrote in their submission to Södertörn District Court.

“They didn’t dare to look in the grave as they were convinced the coffin had opened and their dead father had fallen out.”

The sisters who both spent time on sick leave after the traumatic funeral, will now each receive 7,500 kronor after settling their differences with the funeral directors. The sisters had originally claimed 20,000 kronor each in compensation.

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