New lawsuit filed in Prichard cemetery scandal

Mobile County

MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Another family has filed a lawsuit in connection with a cemetery scandal in Prichard.

This newest lawsuit is against Heritage Funeral Home, New Birth Community Church, Pastor Cederick McMillian, and Funeral Director Joseph Bonner.

The suit was filed by Dorothy Mitchell, the mother of Tito Smith, who is buried at Heritage Memorial Gardens. His family says Smith was never supposed to be buried there.

The suit alleges the family paid McMillian $3,800 to have Smith buried at Gethsemane Cemetery. According to the lawsuit, McMillian called Mitchell the day before the funeral and said her son could not be buried at Gethsemane because everyone there was out on vacation and that he would have to be buried at Heritage Memorial Gardens. Mitchell alleges McMillian told her it would be cheaper than Gethsemane Cemetery but never gave her back any money.

The lawsuit is also alleging negligence, saying Smith’s body was not embalmed properly and that the casket or vault was not sealed.

The lawsuit does not say how much money in damages it seeks.

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