SOURCE: Eagan O'Malley & Avenatti, LLP

September 11, 2009 23:58 ET

Eagan O'Malley & Avenatti, LLP Files Class Action Lawsuit Over Improper Burials and Discarding of Human Remains at Los Angeles Area Jewish Cemetery

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - September 11, 2009) - Eagan O'Malley & Avenatti, LLP, a Southern California-based law firm, has filed a Class Action Lawsuit in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, alleging morally despicable, fraudulent and unlawful business practices at Eden Memorial Park, one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in the United States. The Complaint names Eden Memorial Park and Service Corporation International ("SCI") as defendants.

The Complaint alleges that Eden Memorial Park and its management engaged in an ongoing practice of secretly desecrating the remains of the deceased. It is further alleged that the Defendants plotted and sold interment plots at Eden Memorial Park without sufficient space to ensure that the burial vaults did not encroach on an adjacent plot.

In particular, the lawsuit claims that rather than go through the necessary steps to move an adjacent vault, Defendants' groundskeepers were repeatedly instructed by management at the cemetery to secretly break concrete vaults with a backhoe and remove, dump and/or discard the human remains, including human skulls, to make room for new interments. According to the Complaint, the Defendants took considerable steps to conceal their fraudulent actions by threatening employees and witnesses with retaliation and the loss of their jobs.

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 the company after groundskeepers at Menorah Gardens, another SCI owned and operated Jewish cemetery, testified to the accuracy of similar allegations. SCI later paid tens of millions of dollars to settle civil lawsuits brought by Attorney Edward M. Ricci in connection with the case. Mr. Ricci of Palm Beach County, Florida is co-counsel in the Class Action filed yesterday.

"We have every reason to believe that these morally despicable and fraudulent business practices were committed intentionally and have been ongoing for many years," said lead attorney Michael Avenatti of Eagan O'Malley & Avenatti, LLP, the law firm representing the Plaintiffs. "These unconscionable acts have caused the families to suffer tremendously, and we look forward to bringing this case before a jury. Whether it takes a month, a year or five years, we will not rest until this matter is resolved -- these families deserve peace." Jason M. Frank, a partner at Eagan O'Malley & Avenatti, LLP, added: "As a member of the Jewish community, I am particularly outraged."

For more information about the lawsuit, please visit www.edenclaims.com.

About Eagan O'Malley & Avenatti, LLP

Michael J. Avenatti, Esq. is a founding partner of Eagan O'Malley & Avenatti, LLP, a firm of trial attorneys that specialize in litigating a variety of high profile legal disputes in courts throughout the United States. Avenatti, Frank and the firm are consistently ranked among the best attorneys in America. Most recently, the firm won a nearly $40 million jury verdict after a five week jury trial in New Jersey.

Contact Information

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