An unidentified body was found in a plot as the family of a woman tried to lay her to rest at Shalom Memorial Park in Huntingdon Valley this past June. The son of the deceased woman is now seeking damages for overlapping plots. He is suing the corporation that runs the cemetery, Service Corporation International (SCI) which is a company based in Houston.
On the morning of the funeral, there was a phone call from Goldstein’s Rosenberg’s Raphael-Sacks to let the son know there was already a casket in there when the grave was opened. The funeral was scheduled two days after her death, which is an important part of the Jewish tradition. Goldsteins’ offered to move forward with the ceremony and return the body to the funeral home until the grave was sorted out. However, the traditions state that the person should be in the ground as soon as possible.
The son was given two options a few days after the funeral. The first was to remove the father’s casket, who the mother was meant to be buried next to, and put the couple together in a new plot and also give the son and his sister two free plots. The second option was to put the mother in a mausoleum until the matter was sorted out. This was because even without knowing who was buried in the plot, a court order was needed to move the body, which takes more than a month.
At the end of July, the family held a second burial and was finally able to the body in its final resting, which was the original plot after the other casket was removed. The other body was reburied elsewhere on the property. This is not the first time an incident like this has happened at Shalom Memorial Park. One incident included a report in 2014 that a mother sued SCI after her daughter was buried in an overlapped plot at Shalom Memorial Park.
If your rights have been violated by an unscrupulous funeral home, contact us today. At Bochetto & Lentz, we have the experience in cemetery fraud to achieve justice for your family during your time of loss.