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Mission Hills Jewish Cemetery Sued A 2nd Time

LOS ANGELES ( — A Jewish cemetery in Mission Hills is being sued again, just a year after reaching a $35.2 million settlement to a lawsuit alleging mass disturbances of graves.

Several dozen relatives of decedents at Eden Memorial Park Cemetery filed the complaint Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeking unspecified damages. The allegations include tortious interference with dead bodies and with the right to dispose of remains, intentional infliction of emotional distress and fraud.

The 67-acre cemetery opened in 1954 and its assets were acquired in 1995 by SCI California Funeral Services Inc., co-defendants in the lawsuit with Service Corp. International.

Comedians Groucho Marx and Lenny Bruce are among those buried there.

SCI spokeswoman Jessica McDunn issued a statement, saying company officials "have not seen the lawsuit and therefore cannot comment on it."

"Even more shocking, current and former groundskeepers at the cemetery have admitted that breaking burial vaults will often cause human remains to spill out of the broken vaults," according to the lawsuit. "In such situations, the groundskeepers were instructed by their supervisors to throw away the bones and other remains in the cemetery dump located on the cemetery premises."

The cemetery's own employees have testified that every grave at Eden Memorial Park is currently at risk of being disturbed and its protective vault damaged, the suit said.

"Defendants' management has admitted that these problems should have been disclosed to all prospective purchasers, but defendants have been concealing these problems from family members for decades," the suit alleges.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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