Chattanooga man's body to be exhumed after denture mix-up
by Chris Carroll
Thursday, June 23, 2011
An intensive care patient at Parkridge Medical Center lost his dentures last week when a hospital employee mistakenly gave them to the family of a dead man who had occupied the same room.
Court records show that Kenneth Ray Manis, 76, died June 12 at Parkridge. His personal belongings — along with the dentures that weren't his — were placed in a box inside the coffin at Chattanooga National Cemetery.
Now Manis' body is being exhumed after his family learned of the dentures and requested "that the personal belongings that don't belong to the deceased be extracted from the coffin," according to hospital spokeswoman Alison Counts.
Parkridge apologized to both families, Counts said.
A court order drafted by Hamilton County Chancellor Frank Brown states Parkridge "shall bear the costs of such interment and reburial," along with attorney fees up to $1,250.
"We're also paying for new dentures," Counts said. "We hope that this will bring peace and closure to the Manis family."
The dentures are the only misplaced object inside Manis coffin, said Counts, who did not know how the hospital learned of the error.
Chattanooga National Cemetery maintenance operations foreman Bill Hartley declined to give details of when the exhumation will take place, but he confirmed it hasn't happened yet.
"We're trying to honor the family and the veteran," he said. "We can't disclose any information or anything."
Parkridge officials said they would not release the name of the man who lost his dentures.