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Jury awards $7,500 for each body in Tennessee cemetery case

FILE - In this May 25, 2015, file photo, people visit Galilee Memorial Gardens cemetery near Memphis, Tenn. On Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, a jury found the cemetery mostly responsible for failing to meet obligations to families whose loved ones’ bodies were mishandled, but hasn’t yet determined how much it should pay relatives. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht, File)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee jury has awarded $7,500 for each body at issue in a class-action lawsuit against several funeral homes and a now-closed cemetery where hundreds of bodies were mishandled.

The Commercial Appeal reports the jury’s decision was rendered Tuesday, a day after the panel found Galilee Memorial Gardens cemetery near Memphis to be mostly responsible for failing to meet obligations.

Investigations have revealed that the cemetery misplaced hundreds of bodies and crushed caskets to fit them into single plots for years.

The jury found the cemetery 99 percent responsible and the funeral homes 1 percent to blame but found the funeral homes didn’t recklessly or negligently mishandle remains.

The jury found the funeral homes didn’t have a responsibility to make sure the cemetery properly buried the dead.

Nearly 1,200 plaintiffs had filed a class-action lawsuit involving burials at Galilee.

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