Cemetery Accused of Moving Remains to Sell Space Next to Groucho Marx

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A family is suing a Jewish cemetery in the Mission Hills area of Los Angeles for moving their mother’s ashes so it could sell the space—located next to the remains of Groucho Marx—to someone else.

Stephanie Kirschner and Brad Kane claim Eden Memorial Park did not ask their permission to relocate the ashes of Jeannine Kane, who died in 1979. They say in their lawsuit the move was motivated entirely by money, believing the spot adjacent to the famous comedian Marx could be sold to the highest bidder.

 “While the improper handling of plaintiffs’ mother's remains is egregious in and of itself, defendants’ conduct is particularly reprehensible in light of defendants’ alleged motive in moving the remains of plaintiffs’ mother—namely more money,” the complaint states.

In addition to Eden Memorial Park, its corporate parent, Service Corporation International, has been named as a defendant.

The plaintiffs seek punitive damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and intentional interference with dead bodies.

They are not alone. On September 10, 2009, a class action complaint was filed against Eden and Service for desecration of multiple human remains. That case is scheduled for trial on February 4, 2013.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

How Much for an Eternity With Groucho? (by Matt Reynolds, Courthouse News Service)

California Cemetery Accused of Desecrating Remains (by Abbie Boudreau and Scott Zamost, CNN)

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