Jury finds Galilee cemetery 99% at fault for botched burials

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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. — A jury Monday found Galilee Memorial Gardens 99 percent at fault for botched burials before the Bartlett cemetery was shut down by the state.

Funeral home directors were found 1 percent at fault.

The jury will return Tuesday to decide damages in the lawsuit.

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.

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