Information Current as of October 27, 2009
To All People with Burial Plots or Family Members Buried at
MENORAH GARDENS AND FUNERAL CHAPELS
in Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach, Florida
Please read this notice carefully. Your legal rights may be affected.
What is this litigation about?
On December 19, 2001, Plaintiffs brought a case in Broward County Circuit Court, Fort Lauderdale, FL, against SCI Funeral Services of Florida, Inc. and Service Corporation International ("Defendants"). They own and operate Jewish cemeteries known as "Menorah Gardens." The cemeteries are located at 21100 West Griffin Road, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33332, and 9321 Memorial Park Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33412.
The Plaintiffs claimed that the Defendants buried the remains of their relatives in the wrong locations and/or in a way that encroached on other plots. They also claimed that the Defendants plotted and sold burial plots with insufficient space so there was inadequate room to place bodies in their proper locations. The Defendants denied these claims.
What is the settlement about?
On December 2, 2003, counsel for all parties reached an agreement on a class-wide settlement (the "Settlement Agreement"). The Settlement Agreement provides for $65 million ($40 million for compensatory damages and $25 million for punitive damages) to be divided among class members. It also provides for actions to be taken to continue to remedy the situation under the direction of an Examiner. The Settlement Agreement provides that upon completion of the remediation, appropriate steps will be taken to resanctify the cemeteries. On
April 30, 2008, the Menorah Gardens West Palm Beach Cemetery was released from the Examiner's direction by the Florida Department of Financial Services. On May 18, 2008 The Menorah Gardens West Palm Beach Cemetery was rededicated as the "Star of David Cemetery of the Palm Beaches." For further information regarding the rededication of the Menorah Gardens' West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale Cemeteries as of March 30, 2009, please click here. Please note: The Fort Lauderdale Menorah Gardens Cemetery remains under the Examiner's direction. The resanctification is not tied to disbursements of proceeds from the class action.
What has occurred in the Claims Process so far?
On October 28, 2004, Judge Leonard Fleet entered an Order approving the settlement. On February 23, 2005, claim forms were mailed to all listed class members. The deadline for filing a claim form was September 30, 2005. Based upon the information and documentation provided with the claim forms, coupled with the complete investigation of the gravesites and cemetery records, the Court-appointed Examiner was able to evaluate the extent and value (if any) of the claims. The Examiner then determined which claimants would be qualified for damage award hearings before the Special Master and they were notified in writing. Claims hearings were held from February 2006 through June 2008.
For an update on the status of the claims process as of October 27, 2009, please click here.
How may I obtain further information?
You can obtain more information, including the Settlement Agreement and the complete Notice, by writing to Menorah Gardens Settlement Administrator, The Garden City Group, Inc., P.O. Box 9349, Dublin, OH 43017-4249, by calling 1-866-808- 3581, or by emailing email@example.com. Please do not contact the Court.