Legal Definition of ''Funeral Director''
In Cornerstone Family Services, Inc. v. Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, 802 A.2d 37 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2002), the Court was asked to consider whether the Board had jurisdiction over Cornerstone's cremation services and whether the services offered by Cornerstone fell within the definition of funeral director as defined by section 2 of the Law.
Cornerstone and its affiliate companies were in the business of, inter alia, offering to sell goods and services related to cremation directly to the public.
These goods and services included transportation, cremation, internment and other arrangements for disposition, such as using an urn, and could be purchased on an at-need or pre-need basis.
Before this court, Cornerstone argued that it was not engaged in the practice of funeral directing because the statutory definition included embalming, a service that Cornerstone did not offer.
In rejecting Cornerstone's argument, the Court reasoned that the practice of embalming was only one of the possible activities that a funeral director might engage in and that the Law defines a funeral director as "an individual who is engaged in the disposition of bodies or in the practice of embalming, or supervises the burial or disposal of bodies." Cornerstone, 802 A.2d at 40.
Because Cornerstone was in the business of disposing of human bodies, supervising burials, transporting, and selling goods and services related to cremation, a form of disposition of dead bodies, the court concluded that Cornerstone was by definition engaged in funeral directing and therefore subject to the Law.
Having determined that Cornerstone's activities were subject to the Law, this court held that the Board had jurisdiction over these activities.