Beaufort County prevails in lawsuit over Trask cremation

Flickr user Steve Lokomotiv

Beaufort County has prevailed at the South Carolina Court of Appeals in a 2005 incident where then County Coroner Curtis Copeland was faulted for prematurely cremating the body of 20-year-old Paul Trask, III.

Trask had died after a night of drinking and driving, and his death became the subject of a lawsuit against the Xpress Lane gas station on Boundary Street. But before additional evidence could be gathered from Trask's body for a wrongful death lawsuit, Copeland erroneously cremated the body. 

And that act became the subject of this lawsuit filed by Trask's parents.

The court of appeals writes, "In this case, much of the coroner's conduct is troubling, but none of it is actionable. Because we find the statutes at issue do not give rise to private rights of action, because South Carolina has not recognized the tort of third party spoliation of evidence, and because the Trasks fail to state a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress, we find the circuit court was correct in granting summary judgment."

For more on the latest turn of events check out this report at The Island Packet. For even more check out the full court ruling.

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