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While one New Jersey family was able to secure a key legal victory this week, the relatives of another Garden State man are outraged at the conduct of the defendants in his asbestos injury case. The friends and family of Harold St. John left his funeral last week expecting him to be laid to rest. Instead, the defendants obtained a court order requiring the body be sent back to the funeral home. The family was notified hours later.

Mr. St. John, who had worked in an automobile repair shop, had alleged that he was exposed to asbestos used to produce automobile parts. Exposure to asbestos, especially over long periods of time, can cause serious health risks, including asbestosis and mesothelioma.

The defendants seek to have an autopsy performed on the body. They claim that such a request is not uncommon, and that in this case the request for lung tissue had been made well in advance of the victim’s death. The plaintiff’s attorney has noted that the defendants have already received tissue samples from when Mr. St. John was initially diagnosed. The parties have stipulated that the St. Johns harbor honest objections to autopsies.

This shocking case comes on the heels of several other news stories in which solemn religious ceremonies have been interrupted or disturbed.

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