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New Jersey cemetery sued for switching bodies

The death of a family member is always tragic. Once the body is in its final resting place, it is assumed that the family can grieve and heal. A Linden, New Jersey, cemetery’s simple mistake, however, has enraged two sisters and sparked a $25 million lawsuit.

The cemetery has apparently mixed up its cemetery plots and accidentally interned the sisters’ mother in the wrong grave. While the cemetery didn’t do anything as serious as lose the body or sell the same plot to several people, the sisters are claiming the cemetery has breached their contract and the sisters have suffered $25 million worth of emotional distress.

The sisters are suing for breach of contract and emotional distress. They claim they visited and prayed at the wrong grave for 20 years. They also allege they had laid flowers at and had intimate conversations with the wrong grave.

Because of the complicated and delicate issues surrounding deceased family members, the cemetery does not have a lot of options open to it. The cemetery says that it can’t fix the mistake by switching the sisters’ mother for the man buried in her spot because the man’s relatives have not learned there was a mistake. The cemetery is trying to limit just how many people could be affected by this mix-up.

The sisters discovered the error after they told the cemetery that their mother’s grave was not being properly cared for. A cemetery employee then informed the sisters that there was a man buried in the grave.

Source:, “Mix-up by Rosehill Cemetery in Linden prompts $25M lawsuit,” Alicia Cruz, 13 July 2011

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