GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The Colorado-based National Trial Firm Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardin filed a lawsuit representing 64 families against Megan Hess, the owner of Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors and Donor Services. Sunset Mesa is the Montrose funeral home accused of doubling as a body broker. The FBI investigation into the funeral home is still ongoing.
The first defendant listed in the suit is Megan Hess, the owner of Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors. Hess' parents are included as well. It goes on to name Retriever Freight Services, the Montrose County Coroner, the Montrose County Commissioners, Four Corners Cremation & Burial Society, and HopeWest, among several other defendants.
The lawsuit stated "the deceased are dismembered, carved up and sold piecemeal for profit. After the deceased are dissected and sold off in parts, the mourning families are returned urns filled with sand, concrete, and cat littler masquerading as their loved-ones' cremains."
The lawsuit has several claims, one of which said the Montrose County Coroner and HopeWest "recieved pecuniary gain for directing Plaintiffs and their loved ones to Sunset Mesa Funeral Home in an amount to be proven at trial." The suit had previously called the prices Hess charged at Donor Services for body parts "arrestingly below market prices."
In a press release from the lawfirm, a representative said "they will work tirelessly to get the answers, wherever the facts lead, and to hold those responsible accountable for their horrific conduct. Only then can these families have justice."
KREX 5 News reached out to several of the defendants named in the lawsuit. Retriever Freight Services Co-Owner Tomas Smith issued this statement: "It is unclear why Retriever Freight Services was named in this lawsuit. As a regional pickup and delivery company, we take direction and receive compensation from national freight forwarders, not local businesses. We had no business relationship with Donor Services/Sunset Mesa funeral home, nor did we receive compensation from the group. In this instance, we were asked to perform a pick up and transfer service by an anatomical logistics company located in another state. We have assisted with all requests for information from law enforcement in an effort to help shed light on this unfortunate situation. Our inclusion in this lawsuit seems to be the result of sloppy research by the plaintiff's legal team."
Those with HopeWest and the Montrose County Coroner's office said they have not been served with the suit at this time. A HopeWest representative said they are saddened by the situation surrounding Sunset Mesa, and they are dedicated to the care of their patients.