CHICAGO (CN) – Employees of Burr Oak Cemetery resold occupied graves, stockpiled bodies and otherwise desecrated the remains of hundreds of people, according to a Cook County lawsuit.
More than 100 plaintiffs sued the former owners, managers and employees of the historic African-American cemetery, which holds the remains of civil rights leaders, baseball players and entertainers.
The defendants “[r]esold desecrated and occupied graves to unsuspecting family members and consumers,” and “mutilated, stockpiled, [and] ‘double-stacked'” the bodies of the plaintiffs’ relatives, the lawsuit claims.
Defendant Perpetua-Burr Oak Holdings of Illinois and its various subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy after the allegations came to light last year. The cemetery is currently managed by a receiver.
Carolyn Towns, Keith Nicks, Terrence Nicks and Maurice Dailey were arrested last year in connection with alleged acts, and are among the complaint’s more than 20 named defendants.
The plaintiffs sued for negligence, fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress, seeking damages “well into the millions of dollars,” according to the complaint.They are represented by Craig Sandberg of Muslin & Sandberg.