Cemetery mix-up

Two Queens, New York siblings have filed a $25 million lawsuit against a Linden, New Jersey cemetery claiming breach of contract. For twenty years, the sisters have been paying their respects at a cemetery plot they believed their beloved mother was laid to rest only to learn there was actually a man buried at the site.

How did the sisters, whose names are Hortense and Evelyn Edwards, discover that there was a stranger buried in what was supposed to be their mother’s grave?  They complained to a cemetery employee that their mother’s plot was unkempt.  And when the employee looked up the plot, they learned that a man — a complete stranger — was actually buried in their mother’s plot.

The cemetery now believes it has located the plot in which their mother was buried.  The sisters, for good reason, no longer trust the cemetery and want the cemetery to disinter the body at the second grave to confirm that it is really the remains of their mother.

The cemetery has refused to do this.  Cemetery officials worry that they could be wrong again — that the second plot may not contain their mother’s remains.   And so, the cemetery will only disinter the remains if the sisters promise to take fully financial responsibility should the cemetery turn out to be mistaken a second time, and if “for example, the relatives of whoever is buried at [the second grave] discover their loved one’s remains were unnecessarily disinterred and decide to sue . . . .”  [Source]

Photo Courtesy of Kaili Williams

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~ by siouxsielaw on July 17, 2011.

6 Responses to “Cemetery mix-up”

  1. Does it really matter? Their mother is gone, regardless.

    Why do people feel they need to be in close proximity to their deceased one’s corpse to talk to them? Either they can hear you anywhere, or they can hear you nowhere.

    Lee

    • I feel the same way as you.

      But if you believe differently and you feel that a cemetery plot is your final connection or last link, and you pay a lot of money to purchase a plot and decorate it with a stone, then the companies that provide that service need to keep their end of the bargain. At the very least, they have to bury the remains in the right spot.

  2. Ha. I like the idea of someone deposing the sisters about their belief in the afterlife. Lee makes a good point. But, I still think the cemetery should have to fix their mistake and pay out some damage$$.

  3. If they bought a plot with this cemetery, surely they entered into a contract with the cemetery that their relatives would be buried in that plot. If someone else is there surely that contract has been broken.

    Thats how it reads to me anyway

  4. […] I previously blogged about the Rosedale & Rosehill Cemetery mix up at this link. […]

  5. Can anyone recommend a LAWYER that handles cemetery grave mix-ups and plots vanishing in NEW JERSEY. My wife’s mother’s grave site has someone else buried in it AND her mothers headstone was found and photographed up against a wall outside of the cemetery. E-mail halnewjersey@ymail.com Thanks

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