4717.30 Operator of crematory facility or funeral director - immunity.

(A) The operator of a crematory facility or a funeral director is not liable in damages in a civil action for any of the following actions or omissions, unless the actions or omissions were made with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner or unless any of the conditions set forth in divisions (B)(1) to (3) of this section apply:

(1)

(a) For having arranged or performed the cremation of the decedent, or having released or disposed of the cremated remains, in accordance with the instructions set forth in the cremation authorization form executed by the decedent on an antemortem basis under section 4717.21 of the Revised Code;

(b) For having arranged or performed the cremation of the decedent or body parts removed from the decedent or living person or having released or disposed of the cremated remains in accordance with the instructions set forth in a cremation authorization form executed by the person authorized to serve as the authorizing agent for the cremation of the decedent or for the cremation of body parts of the decedent or living person, named in the cremation authorization form executed under section 4717.24 or 4717.25 of the Revised Code.

(2) For having arranged or performed the cremation of the decedent, or having released or disposed of the cremated remains, in accordance with the instructions set forth in the cremation authorization form executed by a designated agent under division (C) of section 4717.24 of the Revised Code.

(B) The operator of a crematory facility is not liable in damages in a civil action for refusing to accept a dead human body or body parts or to perform a cremation under any of the following circumstances, unless the refusal was made with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner:

(1) The operator has actual knowledge that there is a dispute regarding the cremation of the decedent or body parts, until such time as the operator receives an order of the probate court having jurisdiction ordering the cremation of the decedent or body parts or until the operator receives from the parties to the dispute a copy of a written agreement resolving the dispute and authorizing the cremation to be performed.

(2) The operator has a reasonable basis for questioning the accuracy of any of the information or statements contained in a cremation authorization form executed under section 4717.21 , 4717.24 , or 4717.25 of the Revised Code, as applicable, that authorizes the cremation of the decedent or body parts.

(3) The operator has any other lawful reason for refusing to accept the dead human body or body parts or to perform the cremation.

(C) The operator of a crematory facility or a funeral director is not liable in damages in a civil action for refusing to release or dispose of the cremated remains of a decedent or body parts when the operator or funeral director has actual knowledge that there is a dispute regarding the release or final disposition of the cremated remains in connection with any damages sustained, prior to the time the operator or funeral director receives an order of the probate court having jurisdiction ordering the release or final disposition of the cremated remains, or prior to the time the operator or funeral director receives from the parties to the dispute a copy of a written agreement resolving the dispute and authorizing the cremation to be performed.

(D) The operator of a crematory facility is not liable in damages in a civil action in connection with the cremation of, or disposition of the cremated remains of, any dental gold, jewelry, or other items of value delivered to the facility with a dead human body or body parts, unless either or both of the following apply:

(1) The cremation authorization form authorizing the cremation of the decedent or body parts executed under section 4717.21 , 4717.24 , or 4717.25 of the Revised Code, as applicable, contains specific instructions for the removal or recovery and disposition of any such dental gold, jewelry, or other items of value prior to the cremation, and the operator has failed to comply with the written instructions.

(2) The actions or omissions of the operator were made with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner.

(E)

(1) This section does not create a new cause of action against or substantive legal right against the operator of a crematory facility or a funeral director.

(2) This section does not affect any immunities from civil liability or defenses established by another section of the Revised Code or available at common law to which the operator of a crematory or a funeral director may be entitled under circumstances not covered by this section.

Cite as R.C. § 4717.30

History. Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.174, HB 481, §1, eff. 3/22/2013.

Effective Date: 08-05-1998