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Cemetery Switches Graves to Cover Up its Mistake

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A mother is suing a South Carolina cemetery saying that her son’s casket was dug up and moved without informing the family, according to a news article published in the Spartanburg Herald Journal. Debra Polson’s 21-year-old son, Jonathan, died Dec. 3 and was buried there four days later. But three weeks later, the mother noticed a marker with another man’s name at the site.

Polson’s attorney says the cemetery violated South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control regulations by failing to have a licensed funeral director present and by not obtaining the necessary permits to remove Jonathan Polson’s casket from its grave. The complaint states that the cemetery’s conduct was so extreme and outrageous to exceed all possible bounds of decency and must be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in our civilized society.”

The lawsuit also states that when the family first let cemetery management know that there was a different marker at the gravesite, they were actually told that they had been visiting the wrong grave. Of course, later they admitted that Polson’s vault had been moved to another part of the cemetery because they had mistakenly buried him originally in a plot owned by another family.

This practice has become way too common. Cemeteries make a horrible mistake and then try to cover it up by simply saying: “Hey, you looked in the wrong place.”
According to the Funeral Consumers Alliance “unethical and unprofessional” conduct on the part of a funeral home or a cemetery constitutes legitimate grounds for a complaint. In California, you may report a violation or inappropriate practices to the California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau, a state regulation agency. You can download the complaint form here. For more information on how to file a complaint, call 1-800-952-5210.

If you have been victimized by funeral home negligence, please call me, John Bisnar of Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys at 1-800-259-6373, for a free and confidential consultation.

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