If you dig deep enough in litigation, you may get down to the real dirt. But if your class action alleges desecration of human remains, you don't have to dig too deep to uncover the grave truth. In Sands v. Service Corporation International, a putative class action filed September 10, 2009 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, it is alleged that Defendants:
- Secretly broke and opened interment vaults;
- Secretly dumped and desecrated human remains, including but not limited to skulls, from interment vaults that were improperly broken or opened, in order to cover up their wrongful acts;
- Secretly interred humans remains in locations other than the plot in which the remains were to be properly interred;
- Secretly plotted and sold interment plots on top of already scattered human remains, and thereafter secretly interred the recently deceased on top of those scattered human remains;
- Secretly “lost” the human remains of individuals without disclosing to family members or others that the deceased was not in fact interred in his or her designated plot;
- Secretly interred individuals in the wrong plots;
- Intentionally, recklessly, and/or negligently misinformed family members of the deceased as to the state and condition of interment plots, vaults, interments, and human remains; and
- Intentionally, recklessly, and/or negligently published, disseminated, circulated and/or placed before the public, either directly or indirectly, statements that were untrue, deceptive and/or misleading regarding the business patterns and practices at Eden Memorial Park.
Complaint. But it gets better (or worse). According to Fox News Los Angeles, a former cemetery worker has come forward with allegations that body parts from overcrowded gravesites were routinely discarded. Isn't nice to see how we all pull together in tough economic times and place family at the center of our priorities?
The first class actions I ever worked on were cemetery class actions. No other type of misconduct seems to hurt more people in a more personal way than when they learn that the remains of their loved ones were discarded with the trash. Things like this shouldn't still be happening.