United Kingdom

PICTURED: Brooklyn cemetery staff tried to shove body into 'too-small' of a grave

Claribel Oppenheimer died on June 18 and was buried at the Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn on June 24

The family of woman whose funeral was allegedly ruined by cemetery staff trying to stuff her coffin into a far-too-small grave are suing.

Jose Semidey and Awilda Rivera filed the lawsuit against Evergreens Cemetery at the Bronx Supreme Court Friday, accusing employees of robbing their mother Claribel Oppenheimer of her dignity in her last moments.

'Having to watch the casket manhandled, damaged, opened and then placed on the grass as a backhoe is brought in to lengthen the grave while the casket is being replaced is unimaginable, and something no family should have to endure, they wrote in the suit.

The lawsuit, first obtained by New York Daily News, claims employees twisted and turned Oppenheimer's coffin to get it to fit into the plot they had dug up on June 24, until the coffin ultimately opened revealing Oppenheimer's hands were no longer crossed. 

'The sound of scraping filled the air,' the lawsuit reads, and 'after what felt like an eternity, the coffin got stuck,' at which point the cemetery employees allegedly 'pulled the coffin from all sides, causing sounds of scratching and scraping.'

Jose Semidey and Awilda Rivera filed the lawsuit against Evergreens Cemetery at the Bronx Supreme Court Friday, accusing employees of robbing their mother Claribel Oppenheimer of her dignity in her last moments

The lawsuit, first obtained by New York Daily News , claims employees twisted and turned Oppenheimer's coffin to get it to fit into the plot they had dug up on June 24, until the coffin ultimately opened revealing that Oppenheimer's hands were no longer crossed.

Oppenheimer's funeral was held at Provenzano Lanza Funeral Home on June 24.

According to the lawsuit, Oppenheimer's hands were folded at the time she was placed into the coffin. 

Following the funeral, Oppenheimer was transferred to Evergreens Cemetery, where 35 of her relatives and friends arrived for the burial. 

One employee reportedly tried to move the coffin with his bare hands and the laborers reportedly took the flowers off from the casket in an effort to get the casket to fit - all as Oppenheimer's grieving family watched in horror.

Eventually, Semidey reportedly asked them to stop, and a pastor asked the workers to get some tools to make the plot larger.

Her daughter, Awilda Rivera, filed the lawsuit in Bronx Supreme Court on Friday

They then reportedly removed the coffin and laid it in the grass where it sat for an hour as they went to get a backhoe.

The pastor allegedly asked the employees if they could move the coffin back into the hearse to get it out of the heat, the lawsuit claims.

To make matters worse, the lawsuit claims, the employees yelled at the family to get out of the way of the backhoe.

The family then reportedly demanded that Oppenheimer get a new casket, as it had been damaged in the ordeal, and three hours later, her body was taken back to a funeral home and placed in a new coffin. 

'It is inexcusable for a cemetery not to dig a grave large enough to fit the casket,' Eric Rothstein, the attorney representing Oppenheimer's family, told the Daily News.

'Having to watch the casket manhandled, damaged, opened and then placed on the grass as a backhoe is brought in to lengthen the grave while the casket is being replaced is unimaginable, and something no family should have to endure.'

Evergreens Cemetery officials did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily News

 'The sound of scraping filled the air,' the lawsuit reads, and 'after what felt like an eternity, the coffin got stuck,' at which point the cemetery employees allegedly 'pulled the coffin from all sides, causing sounds of scratching and scraping.'

Evergreens Cemetery did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily News. 

Oppenheimer was born in Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico on March 4, 1942, according to an online obituary for her. She passed away on June 18 at the age of 79. 

It is unclear what she died of. 

She is survived by 11 siblings, four children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Football news:

Luc de Jong scored the first goal for Barca in the 4th game - with Levante
Aston Villa goalkeeper Martinez offered Bruno to concede a penalty to Ronaldo and danced after a miss by the Manchester United midfielder
English football is getting closer to banning bookmakers: the names will be removed from T-shirts, even billboards and TV commercials are questionable
Dybala and Morata will not play with Chelsea. We hope they will return after the matches of the national teams. Allegri about injuries
Messi and Verratti work in a common group before the PSG match with Man City
Eduardo Camavinga: When I found out that Real Madrid wanted to sign me, I didn't hesitate for a second. I want to go to the 2022 World Cup
Ferguson compared Ronaldo to Caesar after a double in the 1st match for Manchester United after returning: He came, saw, won