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Man who pays for cremation twice gets help

Posted at 10:42 PM, Jan 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-04 22:42:51-05

A 98-year-old Lee county man had to lean on his neighbor for help.

Herbert Wagner relies on Amy McLean for errands. Now he wants her try to get his $1,730 back.

He's in the hole when he mistakenly bought two cremation policies. He forgot he had bought one almost twenty years ago.

McLean tried to reach Coral Ridge Funeral Home and Cemetery over the phone, but was not able to secure Wagner's $1,730 back.

"They should be jumping through hoops to help him," said McLean. "This was unfortunate, unintentional, and obviously he's been a good customer," she added.

4 In Your Corner reached out to the funeral parlor several times the past few days. A spokeswoman would tell us they wont discuss specific client matters with the media.

However, a Fort Myers attorney was looking to help the Matlacha man get his money back.

"Be interesting to know if he walked in and tried to buy a third policy," said Michael Noone, an attorney at Goldberg Noone, LLC. "Would they sell it to him," he added.

Noone says Wagner is protected by a couple of laws.

First, he is protected by the unjust enrichment law. It protects people when they pay twice for the same thing.

"Even if it's a mistake, the equitable remedy is the money paid should be returned," said Noone.

He says not refunding Wagner his money violates another law meant to protect the elderly.

"It applies to anyone in a position of trust with an elderly person or someone who has a business relationship with an elderly person," said Noone. "You're simply not allowed to take exploit or take advantage of the elderly," he added.

Noone was troubled with the treatment Wagner and McLean got when they brought up the two cremation policy problem.

"Anybody can perhaps make a mistake and give them the benefit of the doubt," said Noone. "But, when the mistake is pointed out to the person that erred and they still refuse to do the right thing, I find that to be unique."

Noone offered legal counsel for Wagner free of charge to help recover the money he spent on the recent cremation policy.