Galilee Memorial Gardens lawsuit over mishandled burials goes to jury

FILE - In this May 25, 2015, file photo, people visit Galilee Memorial Gardens cemetery near Memphis, Tenn. The Tennessee cemetery where caskets were crushed and stacked, remains were mishandled and bodies were lost, remains closed. But the dispute about who is to blame for the problems at the burial ground is still alive. Opening statements are scheduled Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, in the trial pitting relatives of about 1,200 dead people against funeral homes accused of sending bodies to Galilee after the cemetery lost its registration in December 2010. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht, File)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Attorneys for funeral homes being sued over the way a Tennessee cemetery mishandled burials say the fault lies with the cemetery, but the plaintiffs’ attorneys say the funeral homes should have made sure the burials were done properly.

News outlets report lawyers argued their cases before a jury in Memphis on Thursday. The case went to the jury in the afternoon after almost three weeks of trial.

The class-action lawsuit has nearly 1,200 plaintiffs. The defendants include more than a dozen funeral homes that sent bodies to Galilee Memorial Gardens for burial.

Investigations have revealed that the cemetery’s owners, the Lambert family, misplaced hundreds of bodies, buried multiple cadavers in the same grave and crushed caskets to fit them into single plots for years. Many people can’t find relatives’ graves.