Mix-up by Rosehill Cemetery in Linden prompts M lawsuit | Style | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.


May 27th
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Mix-up by Rosehill Cemetery in Linden prompts $25M lawsuit

rosehillcemetery071311_optBY ALICIA CRUZ

Two Queens, New York siblings have filed a $25 million lawsuit against a Linden, New Jersey cemetery claiming breach of contract. For twenty years, the sisters have been paying their respects at a cemetery plot they believed their beloved mother was laid to rest only to learn there was actually a man buried at the site.

Evelyn and Hortense Edwards complained to cemetery officials that their mother's gravesite was unkempt. At that point, a Rosehill Cemetery employee looked up the plot in question and informed the women that a man was actually buried in that particular plot.

According to MyFoxNY, Hortense Edwards purchased the plot, and three others, after her mother, Beatrice Williams, died in 1990 so that they would be buried alongside her when they died. The grieving daughter still has the deed showing the location as grave 103 in row 20 of section 52, but cemetery records show that a man, not Williams, is buried there. During an interview with CBS 2's Don Dahler, Hortense Edwards said she was shocked and distressed to learn her and her family had been mourning at the site of a stranger’s cemetery plot instead of their mother.

Adding insult to injury, the sisters say the cemetery refuses to correct their mistake by disinterring Williams' remains and placing them in their proper resting place. The woman requested that the cemetery confirm the remains in plot 103, but management reportedly said it would only do that if the Edwards sisters assume financial responsibility if the cemetery is mistaken and the relatives of whoever is buried at Grave 132 discover their loved one's remains were unnecessarily disinterred and decide to sue, Reuters.com reported.

Mark Crawford, the attorney representing the sisters, said he did not know the identity of the man buried beneath Williams' grave marker, and expressed doubt that the Williams mix-up was limited to just two sets of remains.

The lawsuit, filed in Brooklyn federal court in Brooklyn, is seeking damages for the emotional distress the Edwards sisters have endured since the cemetery acknowledged that the plot location and information was incorrect. The court documents state the cemetery’s error caused the women to visit, pray and seek comfort at a resting site where they laid flowers, prayed and often had confidential conversations at the wrong grave.

In a letter to 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera, the sisters’ other lawyer, Stephen Drummond said the monetary compensation his clients seek is simply to punish and hold Rose Hill Cemetery accountable so that they are not inclined to make such an error again, CBS New York reported.

Comments (2)
2 Sunday, 26 August 2012 08:50
Clayton C.
I first offer my condolenses to the Edwards sisters for their mothers loss. I too lost my mother in 2002 and many years later discovered that her remains was in a grave that was opened after her burial. Later I found out that my father did not purchase a single grave, but was shared by totally strangers. Her headstone is over the opening of the grave, but her coffin is a few feet away. I believe there are 3 others in this grave, but they do not have headstones... This upset me tremendously and I was going to fault Rosehill Cemetary for this mistake, but once you get down to the bottom of it, it may not be the cemetary's fault at all. (Not saying this is not the case with this family). 25 mil. is definitely a quite large sum to ask for and as I do not believe this is all about the money, perhaps if they receive a settlement, they can donate some of the money to those families that can not afford headstones at all. I'm certain their mother would have liked this thought. :-)
1 Wednesday, 13 July 2011 22:42
Are you kidding me? They are suing for $25 million??? I am sorry to sound insensitive but how can one possibly say that it would make $25 million worth of difference that you were laying flowers at a stone that was a few down from where your dead mother was. And before anyone attacks me as "not understanding", my beloved mother died in 1992 and I can assure you that, having lost a loved one, I understand that dead is dead and a cold, grey, granite stone cannot bring me any closer to them whether that person is buried under it or not.

Inconsolable grief? Unbearable pain? I think not. It sounds like someone figured out how to make a buck out of their mom's death Shame on you!

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