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Cemetery Desecration Suit Goes Forward


The class action lawsuit against Eden Memorial Park is going forward, plaintiff lawyers said today at a Century City news conference. The suit, brought last Thursday by the Newport firm of Eagan O'Malley & Avenatti, alleges that EMP, one of the country's largest Jewish cemeteries, "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 . . . the human remains, including skulls."

According to CNN, plaintiff attorneys charge that as many as 500 graves may have been disturbed in the cemetery that is the final resting place for Groucho Marx, Lenny Bruce -- and Holocaust survivors. Eden Memorial Park, located on Sepulveda Boulevard in Mission Hills, is a subsidiary of Texas-headquartered Service Corporation International, which agreed in 2003 to pay out $100 million to settle a similar suit involving the company's Menorah Gardens cemeteries in Florida.

The alleged motive in both the Florida and California cases was to make room to sell more plots. There has been no formal comment from Eden Memorial Park.


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