Nonsuit filed in suit accusing cemetery of firing groundskeeper for refusing to violate graves

David Yates Jun. 17, 2013, 4:40pm

A notice of non-suit was recently filed in a wrongful termination case against a local cemetery. 

As previously reported, Port Neches resident Julian Robles filed suit against Greenlawn Memorial Park on May 10, 2012, in Jefferson County District Court.

Robles alleges he was fired for refusing to break open unknown burial containers without a court order.

Court records show the notice of nonsuit was filed April 16 and states the plaintiff no longer wishes to pursue his claim against the defendant.

Court records further show that on Aug. 9 Greenlawn answered the suit, asserting a general denial and asking that the plaintiff take nothing.

Robles, who worked as a groundskeeper for the Groves cemetery, had filed a motion for default judgment on July 3, contending Greenlawn failed to appear in the allotted time.

Allegedly, his supervisor ordered him to do the following:

  • Not inform family members when damage occurred to existing caskets;

  • Break open unknown burial containers without a court order;

  • Relocate caskets to make room for future caskets without informing family members;

  • Dig holes for caskets that were not as deep as required;

  • Break seals on outer burial containers without informing public;

  • Pump diesel fuel into the ground and not tell anyone; and

  • Alter paperwork.

In his suit, Robles alleges he was fired after he refused to commit the above listed illegal acts.

He claimed the defendant acted with malice, entitling him to punitive damages on top of his lost wages and benefits.

Attorney Chris Portner of the Beaumont law firm Portner Bond represents him.

Houston attorney Andrew Edison of Edison, McDowell & Hetherington represents the defendant.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. D192-435

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