On December 31, 2010, Galilee Memorial Gardens, a cemetery located on Ellis road in Bartlett, Tennessee, lost its license to operate. Despite this fact, Jemar Lambert, the cemetery’s owner, did not allow such an inconvenient legal requirement to stop his lucrative business. After all, his company received on average $1,000 per burial. Nor did Mr. Lambert want to halt operations simply because his cemetery no longer had space available for burials. Instead, Mr. Lambert decided to stack multiple caskets into single burial plots, crush caskets with heavy equipment, bury bodies in the woods neighboring the cemetery on land he did not own, and whatever else it took for him to continue the profitable operation of his illegal cemetery.
After Galilee Memorial Gardens lost its license, many local funeral homes continued to refer their customers to the cemetery for the burial of deceased loved ones, usually because the funerals’ cost was an important consideration for the families and Galilee Memorial Gardens provided the cheapest burial plots of any privately owned cemetery in Shelby County. Despite the obviously poor conditions of the cemetery and the illegal practice of the cemetery employees assuming responsibility for burial of bodies, local funeral homes still regularly did business with Galilee, continued to recommend Galilee to grieving families, and negligently allowed unlicensed, unqualified agents and employees of Galilee to perform duties required by law to be performed only by licensed funeral directors.
This arrangement between Galilee Memorial Gardens and many local funeral homes continued for several years until Jemar Lambert and his crew at the cemetery finally made a mistake- they lost the deceased relative of a man who kept insisting that the body of his deceased family member be found. Rather than accept Jemar Lambert’s excuses and attempts to hide his criminal actions, the man did what every person who finds himself in such a terrible situation should do- he hired a good lawyer.
That lawyer’s name is Howard Manis. Mr. Manis immediately began to investigate his client’s claim and to aggressively pursue his legal remedies. Because of the actions taken by Mr. Manis, the truth of the atrocities that were taking place within Galilee Memorial Gardens came to light, criminal charges were brought by the Shelby County District Attorney against Jemar Lambert, and the Commissioner of Insurance finally stepped in to shut the cemetery down.
Mr. Manis teamed up with the Blount Law firm and together we filed a class action lawsuit against Galilee Memorial Gardens and many local funeral homes on behalf of hundreds of family members who have lost their loved ones within the cemetery grounds. We are seeking justice on behalf of all the people who have been harmed by these terrible acts and compensation for the cost of remedying such a horrible situation.
If you have are the family member of a person that was Galilee Memorial Gardens after December 31, 2010, please contact us so that we may pursue your legal rights.