Thursday, November 1 2012, 07:48 AM MDT
Grieving Families Wait for Delayed Headstones
By Matt Gephardt and Michelle Poe
(KUTV) When Frank Cooley's dad passed away in February, he was buried. Frank hired American Monument out of Harrisville to build his dad a headstone in part because the company promised the headstone could be installed by Memorial Day. That guarantee is even in the contract but Memorial Day has come and passed several months ago.
Frank says that American Monument stopped returning his calls so he hired a lawyer who wrote a letter giving American Monument until September 14, 2012 to respond. Still, Frank says he heard nothing from American Monument.
“I can't get an answer for anything,” Frank said. He is not alone.
Lyle Knight has also been waiting the better part of a year for a headstone to place on his wife's grave. He ordered the stone on the 24th of April and he says American Monument told him it would be ready in July. Still, no stone and Lyle says no answers from American Monument.
“He never did call back,” Lyle said.
And Maria Kordopatis is in a similar situation. She has been waiting for a stone for her mom for almost four months. Maria says that when she is able to reach American Monument, they have excuses but no answer as to exactly when she can expect the stone for which she has paid.
"We can't get a straight answer for the people as to why we don't have our monument yet,” Maria said.
Devin Taylor owns American Monument. He invited 2News for an interview to American Monument's new warehouse in Ogden where he says his company is growing and expanding.
Taylor also mentioned that American Monument does a lot of charity work and he said there are thousands of customers that are satisfied. 2News asked about Frank, Lyle and Maria who are not satisfied?
Taylor said the delay in stones is not his company's fault. He blamed the economy.
“A lot of it's just the logistics of the world,” Taylor said. “Quarries don't have the staff they used to have.”
And Taylor specifically pointed the finger at the White House.
“[President] Obama has hurt this country immensely,” Taylor said. “This country has changed in the last few years.
Taylor says he has changed American Monument’s policy and will no longer promise delivery of a special-order stone by a specific date.
As for Frank, Lyle and Maria each has now been given a refund by American Monument.
(Copyright 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)