Woman Sues After Sinking Into Parents’ Grave at New York Cemetery

There is an interesting case filed in New York where Joanne Cullen is suing the St. Charles Resurrection Cemetery after she suddenly sank into the grave of her parents when trying to fix a bow on a wreath.

Cullen fell forward and actually hit her head on the tombstone.

The cause for the accident was allegedly an underground void left by a burial crew in the plot adjacent to the plots of her parents.

The negligent infliction of emotional distress who seem obvious in actually sinking into the grave of one’s parents. The elements are (1) the defendant must act intentionally or recklessly; (2) the defendant’s conduct must be extreme and outrageous; and (3) the conduct must be the cause (4) of severe emotional distress.

Worse yet, Cullen was stuck in the grave calling for help to no avail in the December 19, 2016 incident.

She is now seeking $5 million in her lawsuit.

24 thoughts on “Woman Sues After Sinking Into Parents’ Grave at New York Cemetery”

  1. Oh, God, that sounds bad. How long was she stuck in that hole? I don’t think I would have sued, but it would have thoroughly freaked me out.

  2. Some disastrous occurrences should just go into the book of “Adventures I Had”. My book has quite a few. Never thought to sue anyone.

  3. i worked in a cemetery while in college. Some of the graves dated back to the early 1800s. One day we were mowing and the other guy I worked with came running toward me like a bear was chasing him. He was driving the riding mower and a grave in the older section collapsed underneath the back wheels of the mower. He said all he could see in his mind was the demons reaching out to pull him down into hell. I laughed and laughed at him. He went home for the day.

  4. Five million? The jury should award the cemetery money in retaliation for this dumb lawsuit. Her parents are rolling over in their grave. There is room to do so. When this itchBay croaks she needs to be buried in the hole in the ground next to mom and dad. And. A concrete flooring be set up on top of both graves. Sign should read: Don’t walk on these dogs.


    Over the Christmas holidays, I discovered a sinkhole on my favorite canyon trail. A large section of slope was beginning to crumble. But that was not apparent at first.

    Instead my eyes were drawn by fluffy soil which looked oddly like beach sand. Then when I stepped in it, the fluffy soil began to drain. I went down about a foot and noticed an actual sink of clay opening up. Stepping out required a certain calm.

    Immediately I went about collecting deadwood from the canyon slopes. All this wood was piled right beside the sinkhole. Then I stepped back in, only to sink again, while locking together assorted pieces of deadwood.

    The deadwood assembles like a jigsaw puzzle. One can twist and turn the pieces to create a massive tangle. In the process I sunk about about 4 feet towards a steep rocky cliff. But eventually the deadwood formed a solid shelf.

    With the deadwood in place, I commenced to transfer buckets of soil from an upper slope. By nightfall on Christmas Eve, the sinkhole was filled. I came back on Christmas day and added more wood and soil to form a solid mound on top.

    My repair has held up to successive winter storms. Those storms, however, created two big gullies unrelated to the sinkhole. Therefore I obtained a lot of experience this winter in fixing cratered trailheads.

    1. Thank you for your public service Peter and sharing it with us. It’s good to know you aren’t tethered to the internet and arguing with faceless strangers!

  6. Or just another case she’s just to stupid to walk among mankind without a helmet & body pads & someone to explain what happens when a backhoe digs a hole plants a coffin in rain weather?

    Sorry she had to many vaccines & Monsanto’s Roundup, but lil ms snowflake being retarded is someone else’s soon to be problem.

    Out to in court flip the script:

    Your Honor, we’d be very interested in hear of her UA ie: Drug Test the day of the occurrence.

    And let her tell her story here,now in front of us all.

    1. I’m thinking condign punishment for you would be quicksand.

      1. What? Are you Stupid, walk on top a lot of fresh dug graves out of disrespect to the recently deceased do you?

        Condign is a 1st day asst. banker coming onto the construction site to check the collateral & not noticing where the backhoe has just been digging as he falls in the loose/wet fill.

        It’s always good for a laugh , & of course we have to pull him out. LOL;) (I think we have to? 🙂

        1. What? Are you Stupid, walk on top a lot of fresh dug graves out of disrespect to the recently deceased do you?

          Dunning-Kruger alert.

          The article neither stated nor implied that the graves were freshly dug. It’s the grave of both parents, and it’s unlikely they died at the same time. The article did say that structural faults were to be found in the digging of adjacent graves.

  7. It’s a simple negligence case. The Defendant’s failure to properly backfill a hole is neither extreme nor outrageous. And given the recent wave after wave of rainfall, causation is no given.

    1. I agree with Mark’s assessment. I suspect it might be an additional consideration concerning a burial vault or liner if it was or was not installed or required.

      The vaults, often in the form of a concrete encasement used primarily to prevent voids or settling of the soil when the casket decays can be a bit controversial due to costs imposed by cemeteries or funeral homes. They are not always required but often are.

  8. $5 mill is excessive, especially where the conduct of the grave diggers was negligent, not intentional. But she should recover a reasonable amount for her injury and the creepy experience. ☠️💀⚰️

    1. Yeah, I don’t see intentional or extreme or reckless, but I got the creeps just reading this story.
      Not sure that lawsuits are always the go-to solution, but, still, yuck.

    1. classic. we always cued that up at the outset of teenager beer parties, kind of like the ones that lady told Congress about.

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