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Flint Funeral Home Shut Down For Maggots, Rotting Bodies

FLINT (WWJ) - A Flint funeral home has been shuttered by authorities after state inspectors uncovered what they're calling deplorable and unsanitary conditions.

Michigan's Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) said Tuesday it has suspended the license of Swanson Funeral Home, Inc.  as well as the individual mortuary science license of its manager, O'Neil D. Swanson, II, due to multiple violations — including the presence of maggots, human blood and rotting corpses stored without refrigeration.

The alleged violations, as outlined by LARA, include:

  • Maggots on the floor of the facility's garage and garage door.
  • Unrefrigerated human bodies were stored in the un-air-conditioned garage, some for more than 90 days and up to five months.
  • The building smelled of decomposing bodies.
  • Unsanitary preparation room without equipment or supplies necessary for embalming.
  • Blood and fluid stained casket pillows were laying in the hallway.
  • A failure to register as a "producing facility" and submit a Medical Waste Management Plan, under the Medical Waste Regulatory Act.
  • Repeated violations of standards and laws enforced by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration affecting the handling, custody, care, or transportation of a dead human body.
  • A failure to register to sell prepaid contracts or maintain a contract with a registrant under the Prepaid Act.

(More disturbing details were revealed in an affidavit).

A cease and desist order was issued by LARA's Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau (CSCL) in conjunction with the Michigan Attorney General's office.

Swanson could be subject to fines of up to $10,000 for each violation as well as jail time if he's found guilty.

"Michigan residents trust funeral home directors, owners, and their establishments to follow the law especially when dealing with the death of a loved one," said CSCL Director Julia Dale. "We will continue to aggressively hold every funeral home in Michigan to the highest standards of public health and safety when providing final arrangements."

Swanson's father, who owns Swanson funeral homes in Detroit, told WWJ's Zahra Huber he's sad and sorry to hear about his son and that businesses in Detroit are completely separate from the one that has been shut down.

Members of the public who are in the process of or have used the services of Swanson Funeral Home and have questions can call CSCL at 517-241-7000.

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