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LA cemetery settles lawsuit alleging body dumping

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February 27, 2014 07:29 PM EST | AP


LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles cemetery has agreed to an estimated $80 million settlement of a lawsuit claiming it dumped human remains from hundreds of graves.

In the midst of a jury trial, a judge Thursday granted preliminary approval of the settlement involving Eden Memorial Park. Final approval is expected in May.

The class-action lawsuit claimed that for 25 years, employees broke open vaults and placed casket pieces and human remains in the cemetery's dump to make room for more graves.

The settlement involves 25,000 families. It sets up a $35 million reimbursement fund, and the company also agreed to make changes at the cemetery that could cost an additional $45 million.

The owner, Houston-based Service Corporation International, denied wrongdoing and its attorney, Steve Gurnee, says it would have been vindicated.