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98-year-old man gets money back from funeral home

Posted at 10:44 PM, Jan 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-08 22:44:30-05

98-year-old Herbert Wagner would never have found out he had mistakenly bought two cremation policies if it weren't for his friend and neighbor.

"I'm grateful to Amy McLean," said Wagner, inside his home in Matlacha. "She's the one who started all of this," he added.

Wagner bought a cremation policy a few years ago, but McLean discovered a policy card from 1997.

It turns out, Wagner bought the same policy from the same funeral home twice! Coral Ridge Funeral Home and Cemetery wouldn't refund the full amount of the newer policy, more than $1700.

"A lot of red tape and hoops to jump through," said McLean, Wagner's next door neighbor.

She turned to 4 In Your Corner for help.

A Fort Myers lawyer saw Wagner's story and volunteered to help him.

"When you meet someone and you see the kind of person they are, you are glad you are helping them," said Scott Goldberg, managing partner at Goldberg Noone in Fort Myers.

Goldberg even made a house call to Wagner's home in Matlacha over the weekend to meet Herb. He then made a few calls.

Goldberg got a surprise Monday morning when Coral Ridge Funeral Home and Cemetery's general manager showed up at his office.

"He came in and presented me with a check for the entire amount of the second payment," said Goldberg.

Wagner says he is happy to cash the check because he never thought he'd see the money again.

"It's a big deal as far as I'm concerned," said Wagner. I could never even dream of making that much," he added.

4 In Your Corner reached out to Coral Ridge Funeral Home and Cemetery for a statement. A spokesperson e-mailed the statement below.

"While we cannot discuss specific client matters with the media, we are pleased the issue has been resolved to Mr. Wagner's satisfaction."