Cemetery Accused Of Desecrating Human Remains

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Personal Injury News

Article Date: 9/14/2009 | Resource: MLG

Cemetery Accused Of Desecrating Human Remains

A Jewish cemetery in Mission Hills is accused of desecrating human remains.

Eden Memorial Park is located on Sepulveda Boulevard, just east of the 405 Freeway and west of Providence Holy Cross Medical Center.

Local attorneys said graves were being destroyed and human remains were being thrown out to make space for new graves in one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in the country.

One man whose parents are buried here says that the thought that this is happening to his mom and dad is simply disgusting and unconscionable.

“It’s way of staying connected. I did feel their presence there at the cemetery,” said Robert Scott.

He visits his parents’ graves at Eden Memorial Park once or twice a month with his 23-year-old son.

His parents were Holocaust survivors and said during his visits, he noticed that the grave markers were very close to one another.

But he never imagined what’s now being alleged against the cemetery.

Scott is angered, shocked and horrified.

He is one of hundreds of people who want to know if their loved ones’ graves were desecrated and their remains discarded.

A class-action lawsuit alleges that Eden Memorial Park and its management Service Corporation International (SCI), instructed groundskeepers to secretly break concrete blocks with a backhoe and then remove, dump and/or discard the remains to make room for new internments.

“The upper management of SCI through acts of intimidation and threatening employees with their jobs and their livelihoods, made significant efforts to keep the public in the dark,” said Michael Avenatti, attorney who is handling the class-action lawsuit.

Avenatti said they have evidence to back up their claims.

Scott doesn’t know yet whether his parents graves were destroyed but he’s outraged over what this Jewish cemetery is accused of doing.

“They (Scott’s parents) actually have markers on their tombstones that say Holocaust survivors – that they could not even rest in peace at this point – it is incomprehensible to me,” Scott said.

In 2003, attorneys said that the state of Florida brought criminal charges against SCI on similar allegations and now paying tens to millions of dollars to settle civil settlements.

In response to this lawsuit, Eden Memorial Park issued the following statement:

“Eden Memorial Park strives to serve all families with dignity and respect. We are dismayed by these allegations and frankly think they are not valid. We invite anyone who has a question about their loved ones who may be at Eden Memorial to call the park or visit. Any of our staff will be happy to assist you.”

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Jeffrey Marquart