New lawsuit against Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors

MONTROSE, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- 36 people have filed a new lawsuit against Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors and several other defendants.

The former funeral home in Montrose has been under investigation by the FBI since early 2018 for allegedly doubling as a body broker, selling bodies without permission.

Multiple defendants are listed including the funeral home owner Megan Hess, Hess’s parents Shirley and Alan Koch, and Montrose County Coroner Dr. Thomas Canfield.

The complaint and jury demand were submitted on June 30th through Englewood based lawyers Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Hardine, P.C.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that the bodies of their loved ones were dismembered, carved up and sold at "arrestingly below market prices."

It goes on to say that the mourning families were allegedly returned "urns filled with sand, concrete and cat litter..."

Point 15 in the lawsuit states that Hess allegedly bragged to her employees that she was making $40,000 per month selling bodies and body-parts.

In the suit, Shirley Koch is accused of bragging that gold crowns she allegedly took off cadavers financed a family trip to Disneyland.

Dr. Thomas Canfield was and is the Montrose County Coroner. The lawsuit states "on information and belief, Canfield participated in, aided and abetted, knew acted in reckless disregard or should have known that an ongoing conspiracy at Sunset Mesa funeral home was taking place to fraudulently acquire and illegally traffic bodies and body-parts without the knowledge or consent of decedents or their families."

The rest of the defendants named in the lawsuit are as follows: Retriever Freight Services, LLC; HopeWest; Axogen Corporation; M.D. Global, LLC; Southwest Institute for Bio-Advancement; Innoved Institute, LLC; American Plastination Company; Mesa Funeral Service, LLC; Global Anatomy Project, LLC; Medcure, Inc; as well as 20 John Does and Body User Does 21-30.

The lawsuit makes nine claims. Claim one is Outrageous Conduct against Hess, Sunset Mesa, Shirley Koch, Alan Koch, Canfield, Mesa, Retriever, Body-Buyer Defendants And Body-User Does).

The other claims are as follows: Unjust Enrichment, Fraud, Negligence, Negligence per se, Aiding and Abetting, Civil Conspiracy, Colorado Consumer Protect Act, and Colorado Organized Crime Control Act.

The Plaintiffs demand a trial to a jury of six on all the issues triable.

The lawsuit is 52 pages long and outlines the alleged trauma the Plaintiffs families say they have been through.

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