Jenny Spooner says she found foreign objects like staples, nails,...

Jenny Spooner says she found foreign objects like staples, nails, possibly teeth with metal fillings in her father Harry Spooner's cremated ashes. He died in November. (June 16, 2011) Credit: Newsday/Nicholas Spangler

A state report found no violations by an Amityville funeral home in the case last year in which a local woman found pieces of metal, bone and teeth mixed with her father's cremated remains.

Jenny Spooner of Amityville announced plans in June to sue both Slinger-Hasgill Funeral Services and West Babylon-based Long Island Cremation. The funeral home handled arrangements but contracted out the cremation, a common industry practice.

The report, by the state Division of Cemeteries, found that an inexperienced crematory worker and a pitted furnace floor may have been to blame.

A new crematory operator at Long Island Cremation did not properly sift the cremated remains of Harry Spooner, the report found, and processor blades that should have reduced the bone fragments in size were too worn to do so. Cremation was performed on Oct. 28, 2010.

The report did not rule out the possibility that the cremated remains had mixed with those of earlier cremations. It noted that Long Island Cremation did not appear to have confused his ashes with someone else's, as his daughter said she had feared.

The crematory took steps to ensure its violations would not be repeated, according to the report, and the crematory operator has received state-mandated training and certification.

A spokeswoman for New York's Department of State, which oversees the division, said it had closed its investigation without issuing any fines. An employee who answered the phone at Long Island Cremation said the company was "comfortable" with the report but declined to answer questions.

Spooner did not return a phone call yesterday.

Funeral homeowner Joseph Slinger said Spooner's threat to sue "was a kick in the teeth."

"Her claim was bogus and her attorney should have known the funeral home plays a very small role in a cremation situation," he said in a written statement. "Now my business has been hurt and I'm talking to my attorney about the likelihood of suing her and the crematorium for damages."

Spooner's attorney, Jeffrey Lisabeth of Mineola, said yesterday "there are no grounds for such a suit." He added that, while the lawsuit Spooner threatened in June was never filed, he did receive a settlement offer from Long Island Cremation's insurance company. He would not disclose the offer, citing ongoing negotiations.

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