The body of former Saints player Glenn Foster Jr. was mutilated and unlawfully disposed of by a New Orleans funeral home a year ago after the defensive lineman’s death, according to a newly filed lawsuit.
Foster, 31, was taken into police custody on Dec. 4, 2021, after a speeding violation in Alabama, AL.com reported. Police in Reform, Alabama, arrested him and turned him over to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, NOLA.com reported.
Foster died two days later after he was discovered unresponsive in the back of a police cruiser as he was being transferred to a medical facility from the Pickens County Jail, according to AL.com.
Jail records show that after bail was paid on the traffic misdemeanors, the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office re-booked Foster on three felony counts of assault and one of third-degree battery, NOLA.com reported.
A day before Foster’s death, a Pickens County judge had ordered the former athlete held without bail and ordered him to undergo a mental health assessment, the news organization reported.
In the lawsuit, Foster’s family alleges that the funeral home failed to preserve the player’s brain, cremating it without their permission, WDSU-TV reported. Family members told WBRC-TV that Foster had a history of mental health challenges and they wanted to have his brain tested for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, more commonly known as CTE.
The lawsuit, filed on Thursday against Carriage Services Inc. of Louisiana, which owns Garden of Memories Funeral home in Louisiana, also alleges that the funeral home failed to properly embalm and care for Foster’s remains, according to AL.com.
Ken Abbarno, one of the attorneys representing Foster’s family, said the funeral home “had one job.”
“And that was it,” Abbarno told WBRC. “That was, follow the family’s wishes. and they didn’t do it.
“Companies that have a job to do and don’t do it need to be held accountable just like people.”
An independent autopsy commissioned by Foster’s family showed that the former player’s cause of death was strangulation, WDSU reported.
Attorneys for Carriage Services said the company declined to comment out of respect for Foster’s family.
Foster played 17 games at defensive end for the Saints in 2013 and 2014, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com. He was a three-year player on the defensive line at the University of Illinois from 2010 to 2012, according to Sports-Reference.com.
Abbarno called the situation involving the handling of Foster’s body “horrific.”
“When we pass, we’re all entitled to our family’s being able to treat us with dignity and have those entities that we trust to have our bodies to treat us with dignity and not destroy our organs without our permission,” Abbarno told WBRC.
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