They sued and lost after brother’s body sat in Wayne County Morgue with ID on him for 514 days

Family plans on appealing judge’s decision

A family who said their brother’s body sat in the Wayne County Morgue for 514 days before they were alerted lost their lawsuit against the morgue.

WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. – A family who said their brother’s body sat in the Wayne County Morgue for 514 days before they were alerted lost their lawsuit against the morgue.

Jeff and Greg Majchrzak from Macomb County sued because they said despite their brother having identification on him he spent 514 days in the morgue before they were told he was there.

Read: Funeral directors speak out about issues at Wayne County Morgue: ‘Retaliation will not be tolerated’

“It’s upsetting, very upsetting. I don’t agree with it. I wish that the judge had seen something other than just saying ‘governor immunity,’” Jeff Majchrzak said.

The case involved the death of their brother Tim back in 2018. His body was brought to the Wayne County Morgue with his identification on him but the family was not notified for 514 days.

Their lawsuit stated when they arrived at the morgue their brother’s body was severely decomposed, covered in mold and skin slippage was significant. Some skin had slid off the body and was in the bottom of the body bag.

“Well, you know, it’s just like any other job, you have to answer to somebody. Their accountability, you can’t keep on doing the wrong thing and getting away with it,” Jeff Majchrzak said.

The court ruled “no clearly established constitutional right was violated by defendants’ alleged delay in notifying the Majchrzaks of their brother’s death and in delivering his body to them.”

Read: Why did it take 2 years for the Wayne County Morgue to identify a man’s remains when his ID was found with him?

“Then it’s more than just having the ID, they didn’t make any effort to find us,” Greg Majchrzak said. “He deteriorated. You couldn’t even identify him at that point in time. By the time my sister went to identify the body and it was just a blob.”

The family said it’s not over and they plan on appealing the judge’s decision. Their case will be heard next month.

“We’re trying to make sure that this doesn’t happen to another family and that was the whole basis of the lawsuit here,” Jeff Majchrzak said.

They are still waiting for their brother’s belongings to be returned to them. It’s been four years.

Local 4′s Karen Drew did contact the morgue to ask but has not heard back yet.

The appeal happens Aug. 22. Local 4 will continue to follow this story.


Read: More mistakes in the morgue coverage


Have a case you’d like us to look into? Reach the Local 4 investigative team at 313-962-9348, or email Karen Drew at kdrew@wdiv.com.


About the Authors:

Karen Drew is the anchor of Local 4 News First at 4, weekdays at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. She is also an award-winning investigative reporter and part of the Local 4 Defenders team.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.