Swanson Funeral Home in Flint Shut Down Over Health and Occupational Code Violations

Investigations found deplorable conditions, including maggots and unrefrigerated bodies

Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
Email: mediainfo@michigan.gov

July 12, 2017 – Due to multiple violations of Michigan’s Health and Occupational Codes, the Prepaid Funeral and Cemetery Sales Act and other state statutes, the Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has summarily suspended the mortuary science establishment license of Swanson Funeral Home, Inc. in Flint, MI, and the individual mortuary science license of its manager O’Neil D. Swanson, II. A formal complaint an order of summary suspension and an order to cease and desist were issued by LARA’s Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau (CSCL) in conjunction with the Michigan Attorney General’s office.

Several investigations by state inspectors found deplorable, unsanitary conditions and violations that included:

  • 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.

“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 could be subject to fines of up to $10,000 for each violation of the occupational code in addition to continued suspension or revocation of the licenses, as determined by the Michigan Board of Mortuary Science Examiners. A person who converts funds paid under a prepaid contract to his or her own use or benefit or who fails to escrow or trust funds according to the Prepaid Act is guilty of a felony punishable by a fine of $5,000 or imprisonment of not more than five years, or both, for each violation. A person who violates any other provision of the Prepaid Act is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, for each violation.

Members of the public who are in the process of or have used the services of Swanson Funeral Home and have questions or concerns regarding the operation of the home should contact CSCL at 517-241-7000.

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