On September 10, 2009, Plaintiffs filed a Class Action Complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Los Angeles, CA, against Service Corporation International, SCI California Funeral Services, Inc., Eden Memorial Park Management Co., Eden Memorial Park Association, Eden Memorial Park and James R. Biby ("Defendants"). The Class Action Complaint relates to alleged misconduct at Eden Memorial Park, a Jewish cemetery located at 11500 Sepulveda Boulevard, Mission Hills, CA 91345.
The Complaint alleges that Defendants intentionally, willfully and secretly desecrated the human remains of certain deceased individuals interred at Eden Memorial Park and that Defendants had a pattern and practice of breaking concrete interment vaults with a backhoe, and then dumping and/or discarding (i.e. “throwing away”) the human remains, including skulls. The Class Action Complaint further alleges that Defendants had a pattern and practice of plotting and selling interment areas without sufficient space to properly inter individuals in adjacent plots. Plaintiff also alleges that Defendants, in an attempt to maximize profits:
This is not the first time that Defendant SCI, the largest owner of cemeteries and funeral homes in the United States, has come under fire for similar conduct. In 2003, the State of Florida brought criminal charges against company employees after groundskeepers at Menorah Gardens, another SCI owned and operated Jewish cemetery, testified to the accuracy of similar allegations. SCI later paid millions of dollars to settle civil lawsuits brought by Attorney Ed Ricci’s law firm in connection with the case. Mr. Ricci of Palm Beach County, Florida is co-counsel in the Class Action.