LEGAL AFFAIRS

William Ryder, former owner and director of the now-closed Ryder Funeral Home in South Hadley, right, is handcuffed and led out of a courtroom at Hampshire Superior Court Nov. 18, 2017, after pleading guilty.
File Photo / Daily Hampshire Gazette

A Massachusetts court has accepted a nearly half-million dollar judgment against a former funeral home director in South Hadley.

William Ryder and the now-closed Ryder Funeral Home have agreed to pay $471,446 in restitution.

State Attorney General Maura Healey's office will manage that money, to compensate people who claim Ryder "misappropriated" money they prepaid for funeral arrangements.

It was nearly three years ago that a state inspector visited Ryder Funeral Home and found improperly stored bodies in various stages of decay.

In the trial of pharmacist Barry Cadden, federal jurors were instructed that all 12 of them had to agree — guilty or not guilty — before reaching a verdict.

Cadden was at the center of a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to contaminated steroid injections prepared by his company, the New England Compounding Center. At least 60 people died.

Pipeline protesters and their supporters outside of Southern Berkshire District Court in Great Barrington, Mass. after a hearing on May 11, 2017.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

Seventeen protesters arrested at the construction site of a natural gas pipeline in southern Berkshire county appeared in court Thursday in Great Barrington. And prosecutors tossed them a curveball.

A person wearing a Confederate flag jacket, outside Easthampton High School on May 3, 2017.
Submitted Photo / MassLive.com

Can a school prevent students from wearing the Confederate flag? The school committee in Easthampton, Massachusetts, did just that this week, raising questions about the rights of students and responsibilities of educators.

Fire quickly consumed the building at 106 North East Street in Holyoke on Jan. 1, 2017.
Dave Canton / The Republican

A fire on New Years' Day in Holyoke left three dead. Some survivors have filed a lawsuit, saying negligence was involved.

State fire safety investigators determined that faulty wiring was the cause of the blaze, which destroyed a four-story apartment building. And they found that the alarm was not connected to a monitoring company, which could have alerted the Holyoke Fire Department.