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£48m to settle 'body dumping' claim

A Los Angeles cemetery has agreed to pay an estimated 80 million dollars (£48m) to settle a lawsuit claiming it dumped human remains from hundreds of graves.

In the midst of a jury trial, a judge granted preliminary approval of the settlement involving Eden Memorial Park. Final approval is expected in May.

The class-action lawsuit claimed that for 25 years employees broke open vaults and placed coffin pieces and human remains in the cemetery's dump to make room for more graves.

The settlement, involving 25,000 families, sets up a 35 million-dollar (£21m) reimbursement fund and the company also agreed to make changes at the cemetery that could cost an additional 45 million (£27m).

The owner, Houston, Texas-based Service Corporation International, denied wrongdoing and its lawyer, Steve Gurnee, said it would have been vindicated.

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