Published On: Sun, Mar 8th, 2015

LA Jewish Cemetery Where Groucho Marx Is Buried Sued for Dumping Clients

Only a year ago, Service Corporation International, Eden Memorial’s parent company, settled a previous case for $80.5 million for similar complaints, and at the same cemetery.

Groucho's grave

At least 60 plaintiffs are suing Eden Memorial Park in Mission Hills in Los Angeles Superior Court, for negligence, tortuous interference with the dispose of remains, fraud and causing emotional distress for breaking vaults to make way for new graves and throwing out human bones in piles, Los Angeles Daily News reported.

Eden is considered one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in America, where celebrities like Groucho Marx are buried.

Only a year ago, Service Corporation International, Eden Memorial’s parent company, settled a previous case for $80.5 million for similar complaints, and at the same cemetery.

This time, family members say Eden groundskeepers were told to dig new graves that invaded existing graves, without proper notice to families. The lawsuit alleges remains were disposed in a pile on cemetery ground.

The complaint reads: “Current and former groundskeepers at the cemetery have admitted that breaking burial vaults will often cause human remains to spill out of the broken vaults. In such situations, the groundskeepers were instructed by their supervisors to throw away the bones and other remains in the Cemetery Dump located on the cemetery premises.”

In addition to Groucho, the list of celebrities buried in Eden Memorial Park includes comedian Lenny Bruce, composer Harvey Cohen, actress Mitzi Green, actor Sam Jaffe, actress and model Catya Sassoon, and actor Roy Stuart.

Attorney Gary Praglin, told the Los Angeles Daily News the cemetery should have informed families about the changes in the plots they bought. Instead, he said, “it was concealed from them, none of this was disclosed. It’s a horrible violation of trust.”

One of the plaintiffs, Cheryl Alterman, said her father and mother were buried in the Mt. Olives section of Eden Memorial, where there have been “a number of broken and damaged protective vaults, disturbances of graves, unauthorized movements of graves, disinterment of graves, all of which has scarred and tainted the hallowed ground upon which plaintiff’s loved ones have been buried since burial.”

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