Rush Wants Cemetery Bill of Rights

"Bereaved Consumers Protection Act" lists rights of consumers of cemetery, funeral services

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Family members search for the graves of relatives at Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, Ill., Thursday, July 9, 2009, after graves were discovered dug up Wednesday and bodies dumped into unmarked mass graves in an alleged scheme to resell the plots to unsuspecting members of the public. Three men and a woman are facing felony charges after police found what they called "startling and revolting" conditions at the historic cemetery in the south Chicago suburb. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

    Legislation being introduced by U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush would establish a national bill of rights for consumers of cemetery and funeral home services.

    The Chicago Democrat unveiled the Bereaved Consumers Protection Act during a news conference Monday.

    The act would amend the Federal Trade Commission's Funeral Rule. The rule prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the funeral operations industry.

    If passed into law, Rush says the act would improve cemetery record-keeping and make funeral contracts more clear for consumers.

    The move comes after four workers at a suburban Chicago cemetery were charged with digging up bodies and stacking remains in order to resell plots.

    Burr Oak Cemetery in the Chicago suburb of Alsip is in Rush's congressional district.  Four former employee workers were accused in July of digging up hundreds of bodies so the plots could be resold in an off-the-books scheme

    Full Coverage:  Desecration at Burr Oak Cemetery