Jack Zawadski

Lambda Legal has joined a lawsuit against a Picayune, Miss., funeral home for refusing to provide any services for Robert Huskey after his death, leaving his 82-year-old husband, Jack Zawadski, desperate to make other arrangements in the hours after his spouse’s death.

The suit seeks damages for breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and the intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, according to a press release from Lambda Legal.

Huskey and Zawadski were together for more than 50 years.

Marriage became legal in Mississippi after the 2015 Obergefell decision and the couple married. Huskey’s health began to decline soon after the wedding and he entered a nursing home. When it became apparent that Husky was nearing his final days, the couple’s nephew, John, made arrangements for Picayune Funeral home to handle the necessary services after his death.

After Huskey died on May 11, 2016, “the nursing home provided Picayune Funeral Home with necessary information confirming Bob’s death and identifying Jack as his husband. Shortly thereafter, the nursing home called their nephew John and informed him that Picayune Funeral Home was now refusing to pick up the body and perform the cremation,” according to the Lambda Legal press release.

“Since the nursing home could not keep Bob’s body on site, Jack and John had to scramble to locate another funeral home with an on-site crematorium,” the press release continues. “They located one in Hattiesburg, some 90 miles away. By that time, because Bob’s body could not be housed at the nursing home for the hours it would take for the Hattiesburg hearse to arrive, they had to find yet another funeral home in Picayune willing to transport Bob’s body to Hattiesburg.”