CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A court battle between a group of families and the largest owner of cemeteries in the nation has landed in the North Carolina Supreme Court.
Isom Birtha is one of the plaintiffs in the case. He was just 4 years old when his grandmother died in 1968. She was buried at York Memorial. At the time, the family could not afford a headstone.
Thirty years later Birtha bought one, but when he took his mother to the site in the 5300 block of South Tryon Street in Charlotte she was stunned.
"She cried and said ‘I can't believe this because I know where my mother went down,’" said Birtha.
Birtha told NBC Charlotte that cemetery workers took them to a location about 100 yards from the grave site and told them this is it.
"It was disappointing, confusing because we went back to their office to talk to somebody. They kept running back in the office saying ‘Well, we got a map of this,’" said Birtha.
Now the Birtha family isn't sure where grandma is buried.
Meanwhile, Tim Harden knows where his parents are but they are not side by side the way the family planned and paid for.
"I would have never imagined that eight years later I'm still trying to bury my mother. I have never met anyone who has buried their parents twice," said Harden.
He said that when it came time to bury his mother, someone else was in her plot.
He has joined in a suit against Service Corporation International. At one time SCI owned York Memorial. The plaintiffs hope the NC Supreme Court will hold the company responsible.
A SCI spokesperson declined to comment on their specific allegations.
All of the lower courts ruled against the families, including the NC Court of Appeals. Legal Experts say it’s unusual for the Supreme Court to step in after that.