Procedural Posture


Plaintiffs, family members of the deceased, appealed a decision from the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California) that dismissed their action against defendant funeral home and defendant director that alleged breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith, and breach of fiduciary duty.

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Plaintiffs, who were the deceased’s family members, entered into an agreement with defendant funeral home. On the day of the funeral, defendant’s limousine driver refused to take plaintiffs to the burial site, until they went to a bank and gave defendant director a check. At the bank, defendant director caused a scene, until he was paid. Plaintiffs initiated an action against defendants for breach of contract, the covenant of good faith, and fiduciary duty. The trial court dismissed plaintiffs’ action for failing to state a claim. On appeal, the court affirmed the decision regarding the breach of fiduciary duty claim, but reversed the decision regarding the remaining claims. Within every contract for funeral services, there was an implied covenant that such services would be performed with dignity. Plaintiffs sufficiently alleged a breach of such covenant. Defendants did not owe a fiduciary duty to plaintiffs, so such claim was properly dismissed.


The court affirmed the decision regarding plaintiffs’ breach of fiduciary duty claim because defendants did not owe a fiduciary duty to plaintiffs. The court reversed the decision regarding plaintiffs’ remaining claims because plaintiffs sufficiently alleged that defendants breached the implied covenant to provide an appropriate and dignified burial service.