The lawsuit filed in March in Kalamazoo County Circuit Court on behalf of the couple's daughter, Myra Fish, said Alfred Phillips was buried at Mount Ever-Rest Memorial Park South following his 1989 death, but the headstone was placed over the wrong plot.
His wife, Marion Phillips, visited the plot for more than a decade until her 2002 death and family members made regular trips to the site. Marion Phillips was buried under the headstone, the suit said, and the mix-up was discovered in 2011.
The family "spent another 10 years placing flowers and grieving for her mother and father at (the) plot," according to the complaint.
The cemetery, which hasn't yet filed a response, can't comment on an ongoing lawsuit, said Frank Milles, Mount Ever-Rest's vice president of administration.
According to the lawsuit, Alfred Phillips and Mount Ever-Rest agreed in 1954 for the cemetery to provide eight burial plots, four of which were to be used for Phillips' immediate family. Additionally, Alfred and Marion Phillips had agreed that they would be buried together.
The lawsuit said that Fish learned of the error in 2011, following the death of her husband, and the discovery left her "mortified and distressed." Fish and her husband had agreed that when they died, they were to be buried together in a single plot next to her parents.
"Plaintiff believes that her parents and her late husband are not resting in peace," the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages, claiming that Mount Ever-Rest's actions amounted to gross negligence and misrepresentation. The lawsuit also seeks measures by the cemetery to ensure that mix-ups don't happen in the future.