World’s Largest Funeral Corp,Wrong Body,Wrong Grave Scandal-yourfuneralguy

29 Sep
Official seal of Brookline, Massachusetts
Seal of Brookline Massachusetts where the scandal took place Image via Wikipedia

The World’s Largest Funeral Corporation Service Corporation International, NYSE:SCI has found it self in a wrong body wrong grave scandal. Worse yet it involved a  Jewish Burial. This all took place in  Massachusetts.

The article entitled in the Boston Herald  “Funeral BigWig recuses Self on Burial Inquiry”

The scandal has wide significance because the Individual Involved Kim L Perry, who is (was)the Chairperson of the Massachusetts Funeral Board.


Kim L. Perry said she is a New England manager for Houston-based Service Corporation International, which owns Stanetsky Memorial Chapel in Brookline. Perry has been on the board since 2005. Her five-year term expires next month.

Stanetsky(memorial Chapel  buried one body on Aug. 26 in a grave meant for someone else, then exhumed it the next day and replaced the remains with the right body – all without ever pulling permits at the city’s health department, as required by state law, or notifying authorities, according to Stan Kaplan, executive director of the Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts. JCAM owns the Chevra Kadusha Cemetery in Woburn, where the burial mix-up took place. Jewish law prohibits burying a body where another has been, because the ground is then considered desecrated. SCI said it is cooperating with the state.


Funeral Industry|Funeral News|Funeral blog by Your Funeral Guy

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2 Responses to “World’s Largest Funeral Corp,Wrong Body,Wrong Grave Scandal-yourfuneralguy”

  1. Simon May 11, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    This is a very differcult one as the length of time the wrong body was in the wrong grave. A question I ask how was the grave filled in or had it not been permittly closed. It’s a bit like if you drop some food on the floor and pick it up within a few seconds it should be fine. It’s a grey area. Like to know as said before if the grave had been sealed or not. Simon

  2. Gary B September 25, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    This kind of thing happens all the time. It is not as common anymore because of the protocols that have to take place prior to burial, however, this does happen. The fact that this happened without the proper permits being take care of is the real issue here. It is a ton of paper work when you have a wrong burial, but this is a common thing to fill out when in the cemetery business. Mainly because people of yester year didn’t follow the same guidelines as we do now. The fact that this is a Jewish cemetery and obviously they know that it is against their beliefs to bury someone in a previously used grave is what caused them to opt out of the paper work and do this “behind closed doors” so to speak. The grave was closed I’ll pretty much guarantee that because when they have to prob the grave to see if there is anything in there prior to digging. This is mostly because the ground shifts and burial vaults or outer burial containers have a tendency to move during those shifts and the grounds crew needs to know if they need to move anything else. Yes, they do use burial vaults in Jewish cemeteries, but they are upside down vaults that allow for the body to go back to the Earth and for the ground to remain level and easier to walk on. In the process of probing the ground they found the body and moved it to the right grave once they figured out that it was in the wrong place. I’ll almost guarantee you that the cemetery will not be at fault for this with the family of the wrongly buried body because there is paper work that they signed and initialed saying that that was their space, or if they opted to not verify the grave site then there is paper work absolving the cemetery in the event of a wrongful burial. As a former cemeterian it is sad when this kind of thing happens, but if you follow protocol and do your best for the family then it is an opportunity for you and the cemetery to gain back the families trust. Unlike in the funeral home where a mistake can cost you a generation of business, in the cemetery a mistake is a chance to gain back trust and make more money. This is because most families don’t want to go through the hassle of attempting to disinter a body and then go to another cemetery for an interment.

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