Lawsuit filed against cemetery chain

A class-action lawsuit against a national chain that operates three cemeteries in Clallam County claims the company does not submit its prearrangement contracts for review by the state's cemetery board.

Attorneys for Kelly Miller of Bremerton filed the lawsuit Dec. 17 in Clallam County Superior Court against Keystone America, Inc. of Delaware, which operates Dungeness Cemetery, Mount Angeles Memorial Park and Sequim View Cemetery.

The lawsuit seeks a declaration that accepting money for unapproved contracts is an unfair practice under state law.

It seeks actual damages including refunds of the contract amount plus any other money "unlawfully received." It also seeks triple damages including interest and attorney fees.

Finally, the lawsuit seeks to stop further efforts to collect money from pre-arrangement contracts and to stop their use unless they first are filed with the state's cemetery board.

According to a spokesman for the state Department of Licensing, state law requires prearrangement contracts to be on file with the Funerals and Cemeteries Board but there's no review or approval process.

Funeral home contracts are reviewed to ensure they don't violate published rate cards or industry standards, he said.

Keystone America officials could not be reached for comment.

Reach Brian Gawley at

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