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Widow needs help to cover funeral costs

READ MORE: Widow needs help to cover funeral costs
The fatal accident on the new Oak Island bridge two weeks ago was bad enough, now construction worker Jose Montalvo's widow is struggling for help. Maria Sanchez has thousands of dollars in funeral expenses, and is planning to send her husband's body to Mexico tomorrow. However, her attorney said Lee Construction, the company for which Montalvo worked, refuses to help pay. Montalvo’s funeral cost $13,000 and workman's comp only covered $3,500. Attorney Eric Altman represents Maria Sanchez, who has three kids. He said he was told today by Lee's attorney that Lee won't help cover funeral expenses, or the more than $800 it will cost to return Montalvo's body to Mexico. The funeral director says he will send the body tomorrow in good faith that he'll be reimbursed. Altman said Montalvo had no life insurance and his widow has received some donations, but they still have a long way to go. Mr. Altman said, "There's a deficit of about $9,500 that we need to pay. I don't want to ask her to use the donations she's received to pay that because she needs that money for other things." Maria Sanchez has no form of income right now and it'll be weeks before she starts to receive workman's comp benefits. Altman is collecting donations for Sanchez at his office. Please send donations to… Maria Sanchez c/o Altman Law Firm 1107 New Pointe Blvd., Unit 8 Leland, NC 28451 910.371.5933

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Did she contract for $13k worth of services?

If not, what action are you taking against him. If you were "shocked," that shock should inspire you to nail him, if she didn't authorize those expenditures.

What are you talking about.

What are you talking about. Why don't you take your head out of your rear end and review what you just said. Maybe there is a cultural difference here and maybe funerals are important in a spiritual as well as materialistic way. Who are you to say that they are spending too much on a funeral!!! That's probably no problem for you though as you probably have enough in the bank (from screwing underpaid workers) that you can have a cryogenic coffin which will be sent into space.

It's TWICE the national average!

I'll ask again - was the casket gold plated? How do you justify spending money you now claim you don't have? Let her attorney advance her the money.

Funeral Expenses

I don't know where some of you are getting your information about the cost of a funeral today. Having lost my husband two years ago and my mother only 4 months ago, I can attest to the fact that $13,000 is NOT extravagant. I spent over $27,000 on these two funerals, which were very simple. I could have used that money to help raise my child but had no choice. It is a crime that it costs that much to bury a loved one these days, but that's an issue to be taken up with the "perpetual care" industry. I can only hope that those who are so outspoken about this being an extravagant amount do not have to face having to deal with making such arrangements any time soon.

...and guess what?

You could have done it a LOT cheaper. The simple fact is that funeral directors take advantage of your grief and know that you're not likely to haggle. They try to imply that you didn't really care about the departed if you buy that simple wood coffin, that if you REALLY loved him you'd get the deluxe bronze, sealed casket with genuine silk lining and four-channel stereo. Then, there's our time honored tradition of renting the funeral parlor for two to four days, to make sure that all the people who couldn't stand him in life can come and tell you what a great guy he was. The LAST thing I'd want is a bunch of people who never liked me standing around talking about how "natural" I look. To quote George Carlin, I won't look natural, I'll look dead. Funeral home owners are rich simply because we can't say no through our grief, and get suckered in by their well-rehearsed sales pitch. It's perfectly natural for us to bury our loved ones and send them back to the Earth. We can cremate them. We can bury them at sea. It makes no sense to preserve them inside a sealed, ornate sarcophagus that sets us back thousands of dollars, put them on display for a few days, and drive them around town in a Cadillac station wagon before we bury them. I've lost people in my life, from seeing my best friend shot down and killed right in front of me in Vietnam to burying my mother when she died after a long illness. In the first case I never even saw his remains, in the latter we did the traditional three day "Gee, doesn't she look good" nonsense while people who hadn't seen her in ten years showed up. Trust me, the pain and mourning are not diminished by sitting around with a dead body for three days and then handing a few thousand over to the funeral director. We could ALL learn a lesson from Orthodox Jews. The coffin must be biodegradable and they have to be in the ground before the next sundown, if possible.


You are way off base here. You need to get over yourself and your opinions. Again, reverse all of this blogging energy and do something positive with it.

Oh, it takes very little energy...

..but it is intended to make people THINK! Why would you pay for this funeral when the family will soon receive a large settlement or award? Why would you NOT expect her attorney to temporarily cover these costs? The attorney is attempting to make the community cover a cost he could cover as a matter of business, but you're too big a sob-sister to understand why I'd point that out.

Wow, you are all heart

You think this family will SOON see money from a settlement...With the way the so-called "Justice" system has always drug thier feet when it comes to the rights of man compared to the rights of businesses they may not see any monetary compensation for years...and as for the gold plated coffin, hopefully you will not soon see how much it costs to have even a half-decent funeral for a loved one. God Bless this family in thier time of grief and need and may karma come back to those who want to kick a woman when she's down.

It has nothing to do....

....with "kicking a woman while she's down," Einstein. It has to do with being responsible amd paying your own way through life, the prevailing theme of every message I post. Why are we up to our eyeballs with people who can't manage their own lives any more?

I think it is extremely sad

I think it is extremely sad that someone lost their son, husband, brother and father due to the accident. I think the right thing would be for the contruction company to pay for the funeral and all costs. He died on the job while he was working. Doesn't the construction company have an insurance policy that covers death????? That policy alone should cover all costs and a decent payout to the family. Also the construction company or insurance company should set up a fund or something to help get these children money to pay for their college. My prayers are with the family....


I hope the family will receive the help they need. This is a double tragedy that the company that killed him won't assist with his funeral. Corporate greed at it's worst!!! I hope she sues the company into bankruptcy. God Bless the family.

It has nothing to do with greed!

If the company offers to pay expenses, that will actually be used against them in the lawsuit. "Ladies and gentlemen, they felt so guilty over their negligence that they were offering her money for the funeral!" The legal firm representing her should advance her the money needed for the expenses as an advance against her eventual award.

well there are options

well there are options besides a expensive funeral costs, cremation only costs about $500 the last time i checked ,also the children if under 18 will recieve there fathers social security benifits ,also why osha didnt shut that company down for improper equipment or safety hazzards is a mystery to me why is there not a law suit against the lee construction for his death .people you just dont go to work on a construction site and die from improper safety and it is just no big deal,oh lee constructions motto tomorrow will tape it up and keep going just dont step in the blood you might slip and fall .lee construction is at fault and should be under law suit and safety violations from osha .i cant believe that poor family is having to ask for donations .

Do You

work in jobsite safety? Do you have training in OSHA regulations? Are you a safety engineer for an insurance company? If the answers are all NO, and from your comments I believe they would be, you should remain hidden behind an unverified identity. The Lee Company's attorneys would have a field day in court with you and your libelous statements about their Company. It takes more than a few days to complete an OSHA investigation. It takes more than a few days to complete an insurance investigation. So far, there are no reports the Lee Company is at fault for this unfortunate incident. The state Department of Labor regulates the time frame and process which must be adhered to in a workers compensation case like this. No variance allowed no matter what the circumstances. The Lee Company has no imput on that at all. Also note the article clearly states the deceased had no life insurance. At his age, it probably would not have cost $25 a month for half a million in coverage. Was it the Lee Company's fault the deceased or his spouse chose not to make this purchase?


Are you serious? You want someone to get cremated just to cut cost. That's really sensitive to their religious beliefs.

I didn't know they had

I didn't know they had finished the investigation yet and determined who was at fault. Could OSHA be culpable as well for requiring him to be tied off to the beam that fell? We haven't heard anything conclusive on what failed yet so how can you cast blame?????


"Could OSHA be culpable as well for requiring him to be tied off to the beam that fell?" Not knowing the rules regarding tethering when it comes to construction, being tethered to the beam your're working on makes as much sense as cutting a tree limb your sitting on...and cutting between you and the trunk. At least Mr. Altman has answered the question regarding the advancement of funds to a client. Thank you Mr. Altman.

On the news tonight, it

On the news tonight, it mentioned the family had a mortgage, which means they were buying a home. Also, they had a car payment, which means they probably had a nice vehicle instead of a cheaper one that they could have paid for. A responsible father would have mortgage insurance to pay their home off should something happen to him. He would also have life insurance, which at his age would have been dirt cheap. No one seems to have any priorities anymore. However, regardless of the above, I give my deepest sympathy to the man's family.

funeral expenses

I have delt with two funerals in the last year and the cost was less than 8,000 per funeral. Some one has taken advantage of this family.

heartless jerks

As I read these comments I can't help thinking what a bunch of heartless jerks live in NC. Has everyone forgotten that it is Christmas and this family just lost a loved one! All this talk about life insurance must be coming from people who have never had to struggle to put food on the table. My husband was a carpenter for years in Brunswick County. We never knew from one week to the next whether or not he would have a paycheck. If the building wasn't under roof and it rained all week guess what, no work no pay. If they finished a house and the foundation for the next one wasn't ready or inspected, no work no pay. $25 a month might not seem like much to you all but it can be the difference between buying electric and food for some folks. I know I've been there. Then there is the question of sending the body back to Mexico. If my son were killed in another country I would want to view the body to say goodbye and have some closure. Remember it will be the last time his parents, grandparents, siblings ect... get to see him. Not only has this woman lost her husband but she most likely lost the only income they had and is now faced with trying to cover the bills of everyday living. I commend the Lawyer for trying to help this suffering family. At least he has a heart. Maybe the sniveling ninny's out there should count their blessings then ask themselves What Would Jesus Do!!!