Martha Elena Flores Cura: Continental Lost My Husband's Body!

Posted Apr 27th 2011 02:00 PM



Getty Images

Every now and then news comes about that airlines have lost a traveler's pet or Miranda Kerr's wedding gown, but this is one extreme we were not expecting: a Monterrey, Mexico woman is suing Continental Airlines for misplacing her dead husband's body, the Monitor reports.

In a lawsuit filed earlier this month, Martha Elena Flores Cura and her niece, Ludivina Rivera, claim Continental Airlines lost the remains of her common-law husband, Humberto Rivera, while transporting his casket from Atlanta to McAllen airport in Texas in August 2009.

The family's lawyer, Javier Villareal, told the paper: "The family was obviously very upset. Not only do they have to deal with the loss of their (relative), but these guys were looking for the body to see what happened to it after it was delivered."

Rivera claims she hired a man to pick up her uncle's body at McAllen airport and drive it to Monterrey for the funeral. His body was meant to be flown on August 21, 2009. But the hired driver was told by the Atlanta funeral home where Rivera's body was held that the flight had been postponed three days.

When the driver met with a Continental representative the day before Rivera's remains were due to be flown, he was told that someone else had already picked up the body. The lawsuit claims that "Continental advised (the driver) that the body was missing and that it was not Continental's problem."

The hired driver filed a report with local police on August 24th, three days after the original flight. Less than twelve hours later, Rivera's remains were located at a Brownsville funeral home and were returned to Continental.

The family's lawyer, who refused to provide the dollar amount being sought in the suit, told the paper:"You can imagine the toll that would be on a family where a loved one was supposed to be delivered. It's very disturbing."

A hearing is set for June 8th.

Continental Airlines did not return calls by AOL Travel for comment.

More Articles You Might Like
Filed Under: Air Travel, News, Weird

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

thanks , I didn't know how bad it really was also the fancy bed cover never gets sent to the cleaners. WE found blood on one in Florida. Yuk.

May 08 2011 at 12:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The same thing happened with my Mother back in 2004. She was being flown from Michigan to Amsterdam, and then on to Dublin, Ireland, where she would be picked up at the airport and driven to Belfast, Northern Ireland for burial with my Father. This is the only way the funeral director could do it. KLM airlines said she missed her connecting flight to Dublin after she arrived in Amsterdam and she apparently spent the night in a plane hangar at the airport in Amsterdam!! We went to see her at the funeral home in Belfast, and they said their driver was told she had not arrived in Dublin when she was expected.

When I called KLM to talk to them about it after I returned home, they asked me how she looked when I saw her. Kinda gives you a real creepy feeling. But they acted as if it was no big deal, and I didn't receive any compensation whatsover. I let it go. I do agree that people will try to sue over just about anything.

Like it was said, it all turned out o.k. Like my Mom used to say, "It's done and it can't be undone."

I also had a cousin who passed away in Croatia a few years back, and it took about 11 days to get through all the red tape to have her flown back to her Native Ireland. She was in Croatia for a vacation when she suffered cardiac arrest. There's nothing that could be done about that one, either.

May 06 2011 at 10:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

not to be insensitive--but airlines have a track record for lost luggage, poor customer service, and a no frills, just thrills travel policy--why is it that anything the airlines do today --including losing a casket doesn't surprise me--just don't die or get sick on board the plane--you might have to wait to get to the destination before medical help is called-- by then--it's over--

April 30 2011 at 10:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Maybe they should have just bought him a seat.

April 27 2011 at 10:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This country is messed up! Sue Sue over everything. Although unfortunate they found him.Move on!

April 27 2011 at 8:59 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Time to get over it, I think. Too long struggling over something that can't be changed. Mistakes happen. What's done. Nothing was lost, just mis-directed. There's a big difference.

April 27 2011 at 8:45 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

GEEZ, I just did it again!! OOPS!

April 27 2011 at 8:27 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Sorry foir the typos. Didn't proof read until after I hit submit

April 27 2011 at 8:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

klyncvh1029.... RE: your post and info you gave, I'm with you. We have become such a letigious (sp?) country. And, no disrespect to the dead, did you notice the names? And the phrase "common law husband". Does this family even have a legal right to be in our country? And if so, as has been pointed out, why wait two years? Looking for a slimey enough lawyer to take the case, I guess. I agree that the reporters probably didn't have their facts straight, but, in today's 24/7 news world, I can only imagine how tough the competition muct be among reporters. Blame the technology that was supposed to "work for us". We are now working slaves to that very technology. Yet, without knowing ALL the TRUE facts, I have indeed read reports of :not so on the up and up" funeral directors. But it all boils down to this. People want cheap airfare, but aren't willing to accept the fact that as competion among the airlines grows more prominent, service HAS to suffer. S**T happens. Depending on how3 much the family is asking for, they deservse some kind of compensation, but NOT mollions pf dollars, and NOY if they are in our country illigally. BTW, I have to agree with VALENTINE :), UAL has SUCKED for 20 years as far as service goes!

April 27 2011 at 8:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Only a licensed funeral home can ship via airline and only a funeral home can pick up the body. If this was a US citizen it would not have received any attention since an "enlightened" reporter would have known that. The "non-wife" obviously had to actually pay the receiving funeral home and is now trying to recoup the money she rightfully had to pay. Her scheme of sticking it to the "rich amigos" fell through. Continental stuck with the laws.

April 27 2011 at 8:22 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply

Around the Web

  • Even when you're traveling, follow what's going on in your neighborhood.
    Get the Patch app.
  • .