AP NEWS

Lawsuit: California man denied fair share of wife’s ashes

December 31, 2019 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A multimillion-dollar lawsuit filed by a Southern California man alleges a mortuary and crematorium colluded with his in-laws to deny him half of his late wife’s ashes after she died of cancer.

The lawsuit claims that despite having paid more than $7,000 for his wife to be cremated, Dr. Alexander Sinclair was only given 2 ounces of Kyoko Yonezawa’s ashes, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday. His in-laws, Seiji Yonezawa and Yoriko Yonezawa, received the bulk, court papers say.

Kubota Mortuary and Evergreen Cemetery breached the contract they had with Sinclair over the disbursement of his wife’s ashes, the lawsuit alleges.

Sinclair, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, filed a separate lawsuit in August against his in-laws, who live in Japan. The Yonezawas could not immediately be reached by the Times for comment.

Gene Shioda, an attorney representing Kubota Mortuary, said the situation “took place when a different person was in charge of the mortuary.”

“The mortuary will be thoroughly investigating,” he said. “At this time, the mortuary will deny the allegations.”

A representative for Evergreen Cemetery told the newspaper that the business had not received any notification about a lawsuit and could not comment.

Sinclair alleges in the lawsuit that his wife’s parents refused to let him participate in making funeral arrangements and agreed to reimburse him for the cost of the services and cremation but never paid him. In a written agreement with the mortuary, Sinclair was supposed to receive half of his late wife’s ashes, the lawsuit said.

Sinclair is seeking an injunction ordering the defendants to provide him with half of Kyoko’s ashes and punitive damages in excess of $5 million, according to the filing.