The attorney for Ripley Funeral Services, LLC (Ripley Funeral Home) responded Tuesday afternoon to reports that the business made repeated casket substitutions in violation of the Mississippi Pre-Need Cemetery and Funeral Registration Act. The funeral business entered into a Consent Order and paid $10,000 administrative fine and is required to immediately cease and desist with the substitution of funeral and cemetery goods and services that are inferior in quality or different in kind from the goods and services purchased by consumers on a pre-need basis..
In a statement, attorney Tony Farese said: “I had the privilege of representing Mr. Thomas G. Peebles and Ripley Funeral Services, LLC, with regard to allegations made against them by the Secretary of State’s Office. These complaints were initiated by a disgruntled employee. Mr. Peebles has been in the funeral business for over 50 years and has never been cited for any misconduct. He bought the Ripley Funeral Home in 2014 and has attempted in good faith to honor the pre-need funeral and cemetery policies that were established prior to his ownership. Many of these violations were to accommodate the family members of the deceased, such as changing the color and material of the casket. Mr. Peebles and Ripley Funeral Services, LLC, honored the wishes of the family members and attempted to accommodate them to the best oftheir ability. Ripley Funeral Services, LLC, has never intentionally violated state laws in any attempt to make profits or gain a competitive advantage over any other funeral providers. All violations of state law were performed out ofa need to provide compassionate services to grieving families. The Consent Order was entered by Ripley Funeral Services, LLC, as the most expedient way to resolve this dispute and continue to provide quality services to the citizens of Tippah County and surrounding counties. Sometimes, applying the letter of the law does not make rational sense, and I respectfully contend that was the situation here.”
Ripley Funeral Services, LLC, is a pre-need funeral establishment licensed with the Secretary of State’s Office to service and sell pre-need funeral and cemetery goods and services to the public.