Funeral home fined for late filings

The Sequim funeral home owner who tried to establish a Carlsborg crematory has been fined by the state for

not filing death certificates with the state health department within the required three days.

Jason Linde of Linde Family Funeral Service said the delay was due to mailing the certificates instead of hand delivering them, which kept his costs down.

"When we created our business model three years ago, our biggest objective was to keep our prices affordable. We charge $699 versus $2,500 by our competitors," he said.

"The death certificate is

a carbon copy document

that needs signatures, it can't be faxed."

Someone must take it to the doctor who pronounced death for signature. Then it goes to the health department. Linde said he did all that by mail, which took an average of 5-14 days.

"That's why we were cited; the law requires three days. So for the last four months we have filed all our death certificates within three days. We had to raise our price to $799, though."

The agreed or der against Linde Family Funeral Services was signed Sept. 16 by Richard Knautz, chairman of the Washington State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers, the state licensing agency.

According to the board's investigation, the 94 death certificates checked were filed as late as 64 days after the death, with the

majority filed six to 13 days after.

Linde was fined $3,000 and required to submit to random audits of death certificate records for 12 months starting from April 1, 2009.

Linde said they are sending a monthly report to the health department instead of the state conducting random audits.

"They are real happy about it," he said.

In March 2008, Linde proposed installing a cadaver refrigeration unit and crematorium in a warehouse-style building in Carlsborg Industrial Park.

He twice was given permission to open the crematorium, but both times those decisions were appealed by neighboring business owners and a group called Citizens for Carlsborg.

The Clallam County commissioners denied his application in December 2008. Linde dropped his appeal of that decision in July to pursue the project elsewhere in the county.

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